After several months of parliamentary debates, the Macron law was finally passed this summer.
The catch-all law is composed of 308 articles and 2,300 amendments!
According to Emmanuel Macron, they aim to cure France’s three diseases: «Defiance», «complexity» and «corporatism».
The Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance has enacted a number of laws that affect our sector of activity.
This is an opportunity for us to make a point of the essential texts for transport and logistics.
The first key measure is obviously the liberalisation of truck transport. As part of the administrative simplification plan advocated by François Hollande, Emmanuel Macron wants to deregulate a sector deemed too rigid. Passenger transport by bus will therefore be extended to distances greater than 100 kilometres. Inter-city connections in France, including long distances as well as national routes, will be free of competition.
On 13th October this year, a new regulatory authority was created: the ARAFER (Rail and Road Activities Regulatory Authority). This body which replaces the Araf and contributes to the smooth running of regular, inter-urban transport and to the upkeep of laws relative to competition. It will also be in charge of monitoring motorway concession contracts, among other things. The Arafer should finally put in place a major market observatory for the road and rail transport industry.
For transport companies
The Macron law also provides for a series of measures that aim to support transport SMEs, often plagued by variations in activity depending on periods, conditions, the price of fuel and numerous other factors. The Macron law provides for the relaxation of employment stability agreements in the event of momentary economic difficulty. As an example, the directors of a road transport company can now negotiate an increase in working time with their employees without financial compensation against maintaining their employment for five years instead of two previously. With regard to shops opening on Sunday, nothing has changed for now in terms of carriers. The ban on driving HGVs on Sunday is still in place. The usual exceptions are still valid (moving home, transporting animals, perishable foodstuffs etc.). Concerning the environment, high-emission vehicles will be penalised more and more. An ecological amendment thereby specifies that it will be possible to reserve motorway lanes at peak times for certain types of vehicle. This provision concerns motorways of at least three lanes, bypassing or leading to a large city.
Finally, the Macron law has initiated several major transport infrastructure construction projects that will be crucial in the years to come. Firstly, construction of the Seine–Nord Europe Canal, with work beginning in 2017. Another project should also be rolled-out, that of the major rail project linking the capital with the Roissy-Charles-De-Gaulle airport (the Charles-De-Gaulle Express). The Lyon-Turin tunnel should also finally be dug and the «Port de Calais» project has also been validated.