Directive 2014/47/EU on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union
Directive 2014/47/EU constitutes a fundamental step forward for the EU harmonization of technical roadside inspections, including the inspection of cargo securing to detect any deficiencies.
Each Member State has adopted the Directive and published all the national laws and regulations necessary to comply with this Directive, which measures are in force since May 20, 2018. It applies to vehicles having a maximum mass exceeding 3,5 tonnes.
The new provisions on cargo securing
Let’s see what are the innovations introduced concering the load securing technical roadside ispections by analyzing the salient points of Directive 2014/47/EU.
“consideranda” (16) states:
The point above introduces the fundamental concept of mass forces resulting from accelerations, developed by the EN 12195-1 standard for the calculation of the forces necessary to the cargo securing. Specific training is also provided for the inspectors involved in checking the cargo securing, so every State Member is required to adopt specific cargo securing training programs.
The “consideranda” (17) assignes responsibilities and requires the cooperation between all the parties involved in the logistic process:
The few lines above briefly express the general philosophy of Directive 2014/47/EU, that is to make all parties involved in the logistics process responsible for the safety of the load. In fact, a safe load passes through three fundamental phases: adequate packing, the choice of a vehicle suitable for the type of load and mode of transport, the correct execution and securing of the load. The collaboration of all the parties involved in the process is therefore necessary.
Cargo securing inspection
The key point for verifying the cargo securing is reported in Article 13, where we read:
Who performs technical roadside inspections?
Each State Member, through national laws and regulations, establishes who are the subjects in charge of performing technical roadside inspections on cargo securing according to Directive 2014/47/EU. For instance, in Italy these inspections are performed by Motorizzazione Civile technician and Polizia Stradale officers according to Circolare Prot. n. 300/A/9133/19/108/5/1 del 29/10/2019, issued by Ministero dell’Interno.
Technical standards for cargo securing inspections
Article 13 of Directive 2014/47/EU, for inspection of cargo securing, recalls the technical standards set out in Annex III, section I, listed below:
|EN 12195-1||Calculation of lashing forces|
|EN 12640||Lashing points|
|EN 12642||Strength of vehicle body structure|
|EN 12195-2||Web lashings made from man-made fibres|
|EN 12195-3||Lashing chains|
|EN 12195-4||Lashing steel wire ropes|
|ISO 1161, ISO 1496||ISO container|
|EN 283||Swap bodies|
|EUMOS 40511||Poles – Stanchions|
|EUMOS 40509||Transport Packaging|
This introduces a novelty in the inspection of cargo securing, as the securing inspection based on the standards listed above takes on an analytical-quantitative character, instead of a visual-qualitative inspection. For further clarification, during the inspection the inspectors will not only check if there are web lashings, but will assess whether the number of lashings used is consistent with the calculation made according to the EN 12195-1 standard.
It is concluded that, in order to comply with the new requirements imposed by Directive 2014/47/EU, it will no longer be sufficient just to secure the cargo some way, but it will be necessary to check whether the securing method adopted is adequate.
Assessment of deficiencies
The inspection of the cargo securing is aimed at identifying any deficiencies that could constitute a danger during transport.
Annex III, section II, point 1 of the Directive 2014/47/EU shows the classification of deficiencies:
An extremely detailed checklist is used for the assessment of deficiencies, which allows the inspector to promptly check each aspect of cargo securing and establish the level of severity of any deficiencies detected. For example, it is checked whether the lashings used, by type, number, arrangement, are adequate to ensure correct securing of the cargo. Or, in the case of securing by blocking, it is assessed whether the strenght of the vehicles walls is adequate to block the cargo.
Following the identification of major or dangerous deficiencies, the provisions set out in Article 14 of Directive 2014/47/EU apply, which may provide for their rectification before the vehicle is is further used on public roads or, where this is not possible, the vehicle may be brought to an available location where it can be repaired.
Penalties related to the securing of the cargo
Article 25 of the Directive 2014/47/EU requires the Member States to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions on cargo securing. ln Italy the D.M. 215 dated 19/05/2017, article 21, rules the penalties for deficiencies found during technical roadside ispections. In particular, for penalties it refers to article 79 of the Legislative Decree 30 April 1992, n. 285 – Codice della strada, which currently provides a penalty from € 85 to € 338. There is no deduction of points on the driving license.
European best practices guidelines on cargo securing for road transport
In order to facilitate all the parties in applying the provisions of Directive 2014/47/EU, the European best practices guidelines on cargo securing, available here, have been updated.
These best practice guidelines can be a reference for all public or private parties directly or indirectly concerned by cargo securing, and they should be used as a help to deal with the technical inspections introduced by the Directive 2014/47/EU.
Scope and objectives
The first chapter, “Scope and objectives” contains some interesting ideas for carrying out an analysis of responsibilities and for regulating the relationships between the stakeholders. Here are some salient passages:
Following the principles of Directive 2014/47/EU, the guidelines propose an analytical approach for the cargo securing sizing, presenting the calculations based on the EN 12195-1 standard.
Chapter 1.3 is of particular importance which, although to be integrated with the national legislation of each State Member, provides a point of view of absolute interest to frame the responsibilities of a company and regulate relations between the stakeholder. In fact, we read:
It is therefore very simplistic to consider the responsibility for the safety of the load exclusively in the hands of a single stakeholder, and it is absolutely wrong and without any foundation to attribute such responsibility to the driver alone. We also read:
Therefore the guideline recommends a contract agreement between the parties which regulates the activities in every phase of the logistic process, and which consequently defines limits and responsibilities.
Three steps for cargo securing
The activities concerning the securing of the cargo are divided into 3 phases:
it is the phase where the actual loading takes place. Adequate fixing must be carried out and the loading plan referred to in the previous point must be respected. The fact that in many cases it is the driver who physically carries out the fastening, using straps or other similar devices, should not be misleading: the responsibility for the correct carrying out of the operations does not rest only on him!
- Transport planning: at this stage it is necessary to properly pack the goods to be loaded, make the loading plan on the basis of the selected transport unit and check that the equipment for securing the load is present and adequate.
- Loading: it is the phase where the actual loading takes place. Adequate securing must be carried out and the loading plan referred to in the previous point must be respected. The fact that in many cases it is the driver who carries out the securing of the cargo, using web lashings or other similar devices, should not be misleading: the responsibility for the correct carrying out of the operations does not rest only on him!
- Driving: the driver must, as far as possible, inspect the cargo to verify that situations arise which could create a danger during transport, such as loosening of the web lashings due to vibrations or incorrect initial positioning of the same.
Here are the key steps contained in the guidelines:
Chapter 1 also shows the list of standards to be used for the design and verification of cargo securing, and there are interesting considerations on the vehicle load distribution diagram, fundamental in order not to exceed the maximum permissible axle loads of the vehicle.
Technical issues and calculations related to cargo securing
The following chapters of the guideline deal with the more technical aspects related to cargo securing, in order to meet the technical inspections requirements provided by the Directive 2014/47/EU.
Chapter 2 focuses on the transport unit, which must be chosen carefully, verifying its suitability for the load and transport to be carried out. The vehicles approved according to the EN 12642 standard, containers and swap bodies are described, with the aim of providing parties with the elements for a correct use of the transport unit, exploiting its full potential.
Chapter 3 contains useful provisions for correct packing. This phase is often neglected as it is considered that the safety of the load is limited to the phase of loading and consequent securing. But the safety of the transport starts much earlier! The packing activity and the composition of the pallet is in fact preparatory to be able to load and secure the goods correctly for transport. A poorly constituted, irregularly shaped, not very compact pallet will make it impossible to secure it correctly once loaded. Various solutions are proposed for palletizing, with the use of retractable film, elastic caps, stretch film, straps and nets.
Load securing equipment and methods
Chapter 4 focuses on securing equipment, describing the following elements:
- lashing equipment, consisting of web lashings, chains and steel wire ropes, anti slip mats;
- blocking equipment, consisting for example of blocking bars;
- filler materials, to avoid leaving empty spaces in the load compartment;
- corner protectors, necessary for the correct positioning and protection of web lashings;
- net and covers for protection and securing of the cargo.
Chapter 5 describes the usable securing methods, consisting of:
Chapter 6 shows the calculations for the correct sizing of the load securing according to the EN 12195-1 standard. Chapter 7, on the other hand, reports the classification of deficiencies envisaged by Directive 2014/47/EU. This is used on the occasion of the techincal roadside inspections in force May 20, 2018.
Finally, Chapter 8 gives specific examples of cargo securing for particular types of goods.
The appendices provide a practical guide to lashing and a table containing the coefficients of friction for the most common contact interfaces. In the final part there is the control checklist required by Directive 2014/47/EU for the techincal roadside inspections.