Digital intermediation platforms involved in the fields of road haulage and collective passenger road transport
Order defining the operational conditions for platforms carrying out digital intermediation between customers requesting a transport service and undertakings providing public road haulage or undertakings providing collective public road passenger transport
Article 40 of the Mobility Law empowers the Government to legislate, by means of an order, for the purpose of regulating digital intermediation platforms involved in the fields of road haulage and collective road passenger transport.
The draft Order distinguishes between two types of platforms depending on whether or not the digital operator is involved in the commercial relationship between the transport operator and the party requesting transport services. It lays down a legal regime adapted to the specificities of each of these two situations.
In the light of the case-law in relation to Uber judgments (judgment of 20 December 2017, Asociacion Professional Elite v Uber Spain C-434/15 and judgment of 10 April 2018, Uber France C-320/16), certain provisions of the Order fall under ‘services in the field of transport’ (those concerning digital connection platforms involved in the commercial relationship) as the intermediation service is an integral part of an overall service, the main element of which is the transport service and not ‘information society services’. As such, these provisions do not fall within the scope of this Notification. Only the provisions on platforms for easy connection (referred to as digital exchange operators in the draft text) are notified under Directive 2015/1535 as information society rules.
The following provisions of the draft are of interest only to the digital exchange operators:
- Article 2 (amendment to Article L1451-1 of the Transport Code);
- within Article 3, Articles L3151-1 to L3151-5 of the Transport Code (Chapter I); Articles L3152-1, L3152-5 and L3152-6 of the Transport Code (Chapter II); and Articles L3153-1 to L3153-3 of the Transport Code (Chapter III);
- within Article 5, Articles L3251-1 to L3251-5 of the Transport Code (Chapter I), Articles L3253-1, L3253-5 and L3253-6 of the Transport Code (Chapter III), Articles L3254-1 to L3254-3 of the Transport Code (Chapter IV).
The measures envisaged concerning these digital exchanges consist of:
- creating an obligation for platform operators to verify the recording in the national electronic register of road transport undertakings of operators providing a transport service, where necessary, as well as the possession of the documents necessary to perform their activity (Articles L3151-3 and L3251-3);
- creating a national public electronic register of operators of digital intermediation platforms for public road transport falling within the scope of the Order (Articles L3152-1 and L3253-1);
- creating a regime for the accountability of professional customers and transport operators, establishing for the latter an obligation to verify that the digital exchange operators which they use are indeed recorded in the register created in the draft Order (Articles L3152-5 and L3253-5);
- establishing a control and sanction system combining increased authorisation for land transport controllers and increased use of administrative sanctions (Article L1451-1, Articles L3153-1 and L3153-2, and Articles L3254-1 and L3254-2).