The IRHA is the recognised national representative body of the licensed road haulage industry in the Republic of Ireland. IRHA members operate under Road Haulage Operator Licences issued by the Department of Transport. A Road Haulage Operator’s Licence is required where goods are carried for hire or reward in a vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in excess of 3.5 (metric) tonnes.
The IRHA was founded in 1973 with the purpose of representing and promoting the interests of Ireland’s licensed road haulage industry – on a national and international level. The Association promotes excellence, professionalism and safety in the operation of road transport businesses.
Commercial Vehicle Road Tax - July 2014
Members will be aware that the IRHA has been lobbying extensively for a change to commercial vehicle road tax in order to facility the needs of the licensed haulage industry which would ultimately inject greatly needed competitiveness in respect of out-of-state operators working in the Republic.
As part of our lobbying effort, the Association recently made a presentation to the Fine Gael Internal Transport Committee in order to maintain the momentum which has been created by IRHA members by lobbying their public representative in their own respective locality.
The IRHA delegation to the FG Internal Transport Committee included a number of haulage operators from various parts of the country in order to allow those members to relay their ground level experience to the FG TD's as regard the financial strain the current draconian road tax system is creating for haulage company's.
In addition to providing the ground level feedback, TD's were once again informed of the measures to reform road tax which the Association is seeking for the industry. For clarity, the IRHA is calling for a change in the taxation system which would move over to GVW as opposed to the current approach of unladen weight. Coupled with that change we are calling for the number of axles on the commercial unit to be the reference point in order to establish the road tax rate applicable.
As the final part of our proposal, the IRHA is calling for a 'cap' on the road tax charge of €1250 on five/six axle vehicles while equalising duty rates across all commercial traffic. It is such an approach that will support the licensed industry while bringing about a tax neutral offering for Government.
Political Support for IRHA’s Road Tax Proposal - July 2014
As referenced above, political support for the IRHA's proposal to overhaul commercial vehicle road tax is consistently growing and it is therefore important that the collective membership maintains the excellent lobbying activities which have been taking place nationwide. Below you will find a statement by Minister Varadkar following a parliamentary question posed by Pat Breen TD of Co Clare with regard to the IRHA proposal on road tax.
On the 25th of June 2014 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Mr Leo Varadkar TD if he will report on the progress of the working group considering the establishment of a road-charging regime for heavy goods vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. As the Minister knows, I have been working with the Irish Road Haulage Association, IRHA, and making representations on its behalf to both him and the Minister for Finance.
The haulage industry is an important sector to Ireland worth €1 billion a year and employing 50,000 people. We are an island nation and 95% of inward goods are transported by truck. The IRHA would like to see the current road tax regime changed in favour of a pay-as-you-go system, similar to those in other European countries. To add to that, our international fleet is paying on the double when carrying out international haulage work, paying road tax in Ireland and then paying a road-user charge while in Europe, as well as a £10 levy in the UK.
There is a disparity in regimes which means it is now more financially rewarding for hauliers to base themselves in Northern Ireland, which has been happening over the past several months. Will the Minister give an update on the working group's deliberations in advance of the October budget?
Deputy Leo Varadkar: I established an interdepartmental group last January to assess the implications of introducing a pay-as-you-go road tax system for HGVs, in response to concerns raised by hauliers about the cost of running a haulage operation in Ireland. In particular, the IRHA believes the current motor tax regime is unfair to hauliers with international operations, which have to pay road-user charges in certain other European countries, and would prefer a system based on time on the road or on distance travelled.
The group is made up of representatives from my Department, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Department of Finance, the National Roads Authority, the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and Forfás. I hope to receive the final report from the group by the end of July. I do not want to anticipate its findings but I can give members an update on the work to date.
The group has carried out a review of the current motor tax arrangements for HGVs, including the administrative procedures and the tax raised. The group has examined other charges levied on the domestic HGV operators, such as tolls, fuel costs and other charges which hauliers face as business operators, including labour costs. The cost to haulage operators carrying loads outside Ireland has been considered. A full review has been carried out of the road-charging regimes in other European States, including the system introduced in the UK this year.
The relevant European Union legislation in this area has also been examined. The group has identified various options for changes to the motor tax regime in Ireland to support the haulage industry and ensure transport costs do not have a negative impact on Irish businesses, particularly Irish exporters who are driving our economic recovery. I look forward to receiving this report later in the summer.
Deputy Pat Breen: I thank the Minister for his fair reply. Obviously, a comprehensive report is being compiled with the various bodies which will identify options and possible changes to the motor tax regime. Up to 25% of hauliers have already gone to Northern Ireland, with 4,000 registered vehicles in Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Belgium and the UK.
We have to stop this because it is causing real problems with the Revenue Commissioners losing out and other associated costs. It costs €4,000 to tax a truck in Ireland, while in the North it only comes to £850. I welcome the fact the working group will publish its findings by the end of next month and hope it will be as positive for the hauliers as the fuel rebate was.
Deputy Leo Varadkar: I thank the Deputy for his comments. The Government's objective from day one has been to support the haulage industry. It is essential to an island and an exporting economy that we have an efficient and competitive haulage industry that can get our goods to market, as well as transporting imports and other goods around the country. Several measures to support the industry have been introduced, such as increasing the speed limit for trucks on motorways, changes to the weights and measures regime and the fuel rebate.
The industry has been very helpful and progressive when it comes to increasing safety standards, whereas other industries like that in principle but not in practice. The haulage industry has always been willing to embrace improvements to working conditions, tachograph times and improvements to safety. I do not want to prejudge the outcome of the report but I look forward to seeing its recommendations.
Deputy Pat Breen: That was a favourable reply given the fact that the report will be published at the end of next month. We look forward to a favourable response to the issues in question.
IRHA Presentation To Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport - Wednesday 2nd of April 2014
The Irish Road Haulage Association were asked to make representation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport last Wednesday the 2nd of April to outline the current matters of concern to the licensed road haulage industry in Ireland. This request arose out of representations originally made by the IRHA to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in early March as regard the migration of Irish transport operators to alternative jurisdictions in order to provide for their commercial survival due to more favourable operating costs.
At our presentation to the Oireachtas Committee, the Associations theme was ‘the outsourcing of the Irish haulage industry’ with our detailed agenda reading as follows:
The Irish Road Haulage Association was very well received by the various Deputies who form the Oireachtas Transport Committee with a high degree of engagement from the Deputies after our formal presentation.
A copy of the transcript from the mornings proceedings can be viewed by clicking here.
Members are advised to read the full transcript as it provides an all-encompassing flavour of how the Deputies responded to the points which were raised. If you have any specific questions in relation to the presentation please do not hesitate to revert to IRHA head-office.
Members can be assured that the IRHA will continue to actively represent the licensed hire and reward road haulage industry in the south and as soon as further developments are made on the elements outlined in our above agenda members will be notified accordingly.
DOE Test Certificates - Period of Validity - 21st of March 2014
With regard to the difficulties which have been experienced with DOE test certificates since the introduction of the revised testing regime last October, the Association met with the Department of Transport and the Road Safety Authority in late February to seek to progress the issue.
As part of our representation, the IRHA proposed to the Department of Transport that the road safety levy, which is now factored into the fee structure, should be waived for affected operators between the period of March to October 2014. The Association is pleased to inform its members that with immediate effect the levy on the annual trailer test will be waived until the 7th of October 2014. Where a trailer has already been tested since the 7th of October 2013, the levy will be waived at the next annual test of the trailer concerned provided it is tested no later than the relevant test due date.
This result will allow the IRHA to enter further negotiations with the Department of Transport in order to seek to reach a long term satisfactory solution. Members will be kept informed of developments as they arise.
IRHA Preferred Supplier Programme 2013-2014
The IRHA Preferred Supplier Programme has now completed another term in operation and a sincere thank you to all third parties who participated in its inaugural year. The Programme has been a huge success with IRHA members providing very positive feedback as to the competitive pricing and quality of service provided by both our Corporate Partners & Patrons.
Year three of the programme will commence in July 2013 and the IRHA will continue to only promote companies whom have the most reliable and cost effective product / service for operators in the road haulage industry. Our revised Preferred Supplier Directory will not be an exhaustive list of every supplier in the country but will continue to be limited to a small number of third parties who will have to pass a vetting process undertaken by IRHA head-office before inclusion in the Directory.
The Association is pleased to provide the mandatory drivers CPC training for HGV drivers in IRHA head-office, Bracetown, Clonee. The Association has been approved to provide all modules to interested parties on an on-going basis.
If you wish to be facilitated on any date that is not already scheduled, please contact head-office and we will seek to meet your requirements where possible.
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