Cabotage is the performing of national transport operations carried out for hire or reward for a limited period of time within the territory of the Community and the EEA countries and by use of vehicles with a maximum authorised weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes, trailers included.
Cabotage can solely be carried out in connection with an international transport operation allowing for, within seven days, up to three cabotage operations in a single Member State or one cabotage operation per Member State. If the vehicle has entered Denmark with an empty truck, the vehicle may undertake one cabotage operation within three days.
A waiting period has been introduced in relation to cabotage. Hence, when the last cabotage operation has been performed in Denmark, another 4-day-waiting period commences. Thus, not until the expiry of the said waiting period (four calendar days), the vehicle may undertake a new cabotage operation in Denmark.
The international transport operation preceding the cabotage operation shall be of such nature that it is not primarily designed in a way that allows for use of the rules on cabotage. Equally, the international transport operation shall be terminated prior to the commencement of the cabotage operation.
Access to the carrying out of cabotage is subject to the condition that the national rules of the host nation are observed in various areas.
No cabotage is permitted on the basis of an ECMT authorisation or authorisations that are bilaterally exchanged.
Guide on cabotage operations
This, default guide on carbotage is in English.
Translations in additional languages are found below.
Guides in additional languages (DE, PO, RU)
Leitfaden für Kabotagebeförderungen
Guide on cabotage operations (German)
Ghid privind operațiunile de cabotaj
Guide on cabotage operations (Romanian)
Руководство по каботажу
Guide on cabotage operations (Russian)
Przewodnik po przewozach kabotażowych
Guide on cabotage operations (Polish)
Questions and answers on cabotage
What is cabotage?
Under what conditions may cabotage operations be undertaken?
- Cabotage operations may be undertaken only in connection with an international transport operation.
- The cabotage operation shall be carried out using the same towing unit that was used in connection with the international transport operation.
- When the final destination of the international transport operation is Denmark and all the goods from the said operation have been unloaded, three cabotage operations may be carried out. The three cabotage operations shall be carried out within seven calendar days from the completion of the international transport operation.
- When the final destination of the international transport operation is a Member State other than Denmark, a maximum of one cabotage operation may be carried out within three days following the crossing of the border to Denmark. The said cabotage operation shall be carried out within three calendar days from the conclusion of the international transport operation.
Minimum wages applicable from the 1st of March 2022 and until 1st of March 2023
The road part of combined transport unless the roadpart on its own consists of bilateral transport operations DKK 173,64.
Cabotage with passengers 178,72.
Are any special requirements imposed as regards the international transport operation
Are any specific requirements imposed as regards cabotage journeys?
Yes. The transport in Denmark by foreign road hauliers of empty containers, empty semi-trailers and return packaging (pallets, flower cages or similar) is regarded as transport of goods and, thus, a cabotage operation.
It should be noted that the transport in Denmark of empty containers, empty semi-trailers and return packaging in connection with an international transport operation to Denmark is not considered to be a cabotage operation. For instance, if a transport operation of goods from Germany to Denmark is undertaken, the empty container, following delivery of the goods, can be driven to the destination under the road carriage contract.
How many cabotage operations are made if a loaded semi-trailer or container is transported from Odense (DK) to be delivered at a client in Svendborg (DK). Subsequently, the driver continues to Middelfart (DK) with an empty load. In Middelfart, the vehicle is loaded with goods and transported to a client in Aarhus
The above scenario shall be regarded as two cabotage operations as a cabotage operation may consist only of either one or more loading or unloading points. In the above scenario, there are one or more loading and unloading points.
When is documentary evidence of the transport operation required to exist?
Documentary evidence shall exist when the vehicle is stopped by the authorities. Upon request by the said authorities, the driver is required to present the documentation in question.
Electronic forwarding of documentation to the vehicle is accepted. However, procurement of the documentary evidence may not result in the police control being substantially delayed. The documentary evidence is as follows:
- Documentation of the international transport operation (no matter in which Member State the said transport operation was completed).
- Documentation of each of the subsequent cabotage transport operations carried out in Denmark. The documentary requirement also applies to transport operations carried out with empty semi-trailers, empty containers and returnable packaging in Denmark.
- If the vehicle has been present in Denmark for four days prior to the international transport operation, documentary evidence shall be presented for all journeys made during the period in question.
Where do I find rules on cabotage transport operations?
- You can read about the rules on cabotage in Regulation (EU) 1072/2009 of 21 October 2009 on the common rules for access to the international road haulage market
- In addition, the Danish Road Traffic Authority has also produced a guide on cabotage. You can find the guide under the paragraph titled “Cabotage”
Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009