The reform of the regulations for the Land Transport Planning Law (ROTT), an important piece of legislation for the land transport industry, has not been particularly quick in coming after a delay of almost four years.

Royal Decree 70/2019, of February 15, 2019, amending the Regulations for the Land Transport Law and secondary legislation, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on February 20, adapts and updates the existing legislation to the successive legislative and economic changes.

The new ROTT, besides updating provisions that had become outdated in some senses, amends the whole secondary legislation regime on the issuing and retaining of the authorizations and other enabling instruments required to carry on the various activities and professions falling under the legislation on road transport, and brings in strictly electronic administrative procedures, in the terms set out in the law.

It implements new provisions on entering the industry and lays down new rules in relation to compliance with the establishment, financial capacity, reliability and professional competence requirements, as a result of the judgment rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union in February 2018 which introduced important legislation with an impact on the road transport business.

This new legislation has done away with the familiar transport card, a document evidencing the authorization held, which has been replaced with a registration system for authorizations and other enabling instruments to carry on the various activities and professions covered by the transport legislation.

New provisions are implemented on entry to the profession, for which certain academic qualifications are required to obtain the certificate of professional competence. There must be a real and effective relationship between the individual holding that certificate of professional competence and the company owning the business activity, for which a full-time employment relationship is required, in addition to the performance of supervision activities in all areas of the company. These individuals will now be known as transport managers.

Rules have also been set out on the loss of reliability requirement, giving rise to suspension of the validity of the transport authorizations for one year. The current minimum fleet requirement for entering the industry has been removed (three trucks for the carriage of goods and five buses for the carriage of passengers), by allowing entry with one transport vehicle, though the current requirement for a maximum length of service has been kept, namely five months for the carriage of goods, and two years for the carriage of passengers.

The infringement and penalty rules have also been updated to bring them into line with European legislation.

The truth is this would have been a good opportunity to undertake a few necessary changes to adapt the law to the new mobility and transport landscape, in relation to car sharing and time share services, for example, which are being operated and growing stronger by the day in highly populated areas, at a time when users’ spending patterns are changing and they are choosing to pay for use rather than owning.