On 3 February 2021, ambassadors meeting in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) agreed on a negotiating mandate for renewing temporary measures introduced in May 2020 by proposal of the Commission to help transport operators and citizens who are unable to fulfil certain administrative requirements on time because of the coronavirusmeasures taken by the Member States.

More particularly, the proposal allows to prolong by 10 months the validity of specific certificates, licences and authorisations in the areas of road, rail and inland waterways transport such as, amongst others, driving licences, roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and boat-masters’ certificates with expiry dates falling between 1 September 2020 and 30 June 2021. Furthermore, despite the proposal does not allow to extend for a second time certificates, licences and authorisations that were already extended, an exception was made for professional training certificates and driving licences, whose validity may be prolonged by an additional six months to deal with an administrative backlog of expired certificates and licences.

The proposal applies retroactively, and allows Member States to opt-out from provisions they do not need by informing within 8 days the Commission, which in turn will have 3 days to publish the notifications in the Official Journal. To ensure the smooth functioning of the single market and continued cross-border activity, however, those Member States opting out from certain provisions will have to accept those certificates, licences and authorisations whose validity has been extended in other Member States. Furthermore, provided that it will not increase risks to transport safety or security disproportionately, Member States may ask the Commission a further extension of the certificates, licences or authorisations expiring after 30 June 2021.