§ Lord O'HAGAN
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will exempt farmers' and horticulturists' vehicles used only on farms and between farms and local markets from EEC Regulation 1463/70.602WA
§ The PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY of STATE, DEPARTMENT of the ENVIRONMENT (Lord Bellwin)
There is no provision in EEC Regulation 1463/70…the tachograph regulation…for the exemption of farm vehicles as such, and it is not open to the Government unilaterally to make additional exemptions: this could only be done by amendment of the EEC regulation itself, which would require a proposal from the European Commission and the agreement of the other member-States in the Council of Ministers.
Many farm vehicles are, however, covered by existing exemptions from the tachograph regulation. The regulation does not apply to goods vehicles whose maximum permissible weight, including any trailer, does not exceed 3.5 metric tons; or to passenger vehicles constructed and equipped to carry not more than 9 persons including the driver. Vehicles used exclusively on farms, and never on the public road, are also outside the scope of the regulation. Tractors and other machines (but not ordinary lorries) used exclusively for local agricultural and forestry work are automatically exempt; so are all tractors with a maximum speed not exceeding 30 kilometres per hour, however used. There is at present an additional temporary exemption for vehicles operating within 50 kilometres of base, but this exemption is due to expire on 1st July 1979.
Besides these automatic exemptions, there is provision in the regulation for member-States to exempt, if they choose to do so, certain other national transport operations, including use of passenger vehicles constructed and equipped to carry not more than 15 persons, and the transport of live animals from farms to local markets and vice versa. Although the United Kingdom has not implemented the tachograph regulation, most of the permitted exemptions from the regulation have already been agreed with the Commission, as the regulation requires, and given legal effect in the Community Road Transport Rules (Exemptions) Regulations 1978. The exemption for the transport of animals was not, however, included in these regulations and my right honourable friend the Minister of Transport will be having consultations with the industry on this exemption.