The EC has just published a report in connection with the exemptions granted under this regulation which came into force on 1st March 2013 and contains a series of rights for passengers who travel by bus and coach in the EU.
Member states could apply exemptions to the following regulations until 28 February 2017 and renew the exemption again for a further 4 years until 28 February 2021.
- Purely domestic regular services where the scheduled distance is 250km or more.
- The entire regulation to regular services where a significant part of the service is operated outside the EU.
- Exemption of regular services from some or all of the provisions related to the rights of passengers with disability or reduced mobility provided that member states national rules provided the same level of protection.
In 2013, 13 member states decided to exempt purely domestic services and 14 member states decided to apply exemptions to regular services where a significant part of the service operated outside the EU. No exemptions were made in respect of the rights of passengers with disability or reduced mobility.
In 2016 the commission consulted stakeholders on the application of the regulations. EPF was amongst passengers’ organisations that criticised member States for granting too many exemptions on the basis that they deprived passengers of the full enjoyment of their rights and of legal certainty.
In 2017, 8 member states decided to renew exemptions to purely domestic services and 9 member states decided to renew exemptions to regular services where a significant part of the service operated outside the EU.
Some of the reasons given by member states who applied the exemptions were that it gave more time for operators to prepare for the application of the regulations and make necessary investments. We look forward to 1st March 2021 when the regulations will apply in their entirety across EU member states.