10 September 2018

There are many requirements for international road transportation. These usually concern the carrier, but in some cases you also have obligations as a recipient and failure to comply with them may result in a fine. In this article, we tell you how you can avoid the “fine trap” set by the authority, in case your company is waiting for a shipment from outside the EU.

If your company receives a shipment from outside the EU, the transport must comply with the so-called CEMT license requirements.

If you are one of those who are hearing this for the first time, we help you: the CEMT license is an international freight permit, which allows the carrier to lawfully carry international road haulage. It is not used in transports within the EU, but probably the freight will be CEMT licensed if the consignor or consignee is outside the EU, for example in Ukraine, Serbia or Turkey.

All right, but is this not the carrier's business?

The answer is no. In fact, in the case of freights permitted by CEMT, the decree imposes obligations both on the consignor and the consignee, the infringement of which can easily result in a fine.

If you worry about your postal items you can breathe a sigh of relief, as the regulations do not cover postal / parcel dispatches.

The recipients’ obligations are linked to the two CEMT documents, the CEMT license and the relevant CEMT freight logbook.

Obligations regarding the license

As a recipient you need to examine the license when the vehicle arrives. If the license has expired or has not been issued to the carrier company, it must be reported immediately to one of the competent authorities: the National Transport Authority, the police or the customs authorities.

Obligations regarding the logbook

If your logistics colleague has not been tested enough when inspecting the license, his language skills may also be needed. Indeed, it is compulsory to check the freight log file, which is usually in a foreign language. The continuously, manually kept logbook must indicate the "stops" of the vehicle, with the date and the mileage. As a recipient, you must pay particular attention to the fact that the location and date of the unload have to be correctly entered in the log.

Just think of the tired driver, who after breaking through the Dinaric mountains, simply puts “Budapest” in the log as the place of unload if the DEPO is in the agglomeration of Budapest, for example Törökbálint, Érd, Páty. This mistake is enough for the authority to impose fine.

Obligation to store

After all the above, there is only one task left to ensure that the transport is taken over in accordance with the regulation. A photocopy of the license and the cargo log shall be prepared and kept for a period of one year. It's important that the log is kept continuously, so the proper photocopy can only be made when the truck is on the site, because after its leave, additional new logs will be entered. Therefore, obtaining the logbook subsequently is not a good idea in this case.

It is now understandable that you can be caught weeks after the shipment arrived. After the check by the authority, the CEMT log entries are retrospectively compared with other available databases of the authority, so in case of an invalid license or an incomplete freight log, the vehicle's previous stops are likely to be visited by the authority.

What are the sanctions?

If the infringement is established, the authority may impose a fine of HUF 300,000 on the recipient. As the fine is fixed, the gravity of the infringement cannot be considered. In case of small and medium-sized enterprises, the authority does not impose a fine for the first time.

Based on the above, if you are dealing with international transportation, remember that you may also have obligations as the recipient. A process description for employees can avoid the possibility of an unexpected surprise in the form of a fine for incorrect handling of CEMT documents.