Egypt’s determination in promoting important road transport regulatory reforms, was reaffirmed during the last mission to Cairo, from 3 to 7 December 2017, of the EU funded EuroMed Transport Support Project experts Mr. Michalis Adamantiadis, Team Leader and Road Freight Transport Key Expert and Mrs. Tatyana Karantniuk, Road Transport Regulations Expert.
Aimed at increasing efficiency, safety and high-quality performance of road transport operations and contributing to the economic development of the country, the well-being and job creation for the population, Egyptian competent authorities and key stakeholders from the public and private sector, under the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Interior, have been in close cooperation during the past two years with a multidisciplinary EuroMed Project team of Experts consisting of transport regulations Experts, transport economists, transport lawyers and transport engineers.
Identified and agreed priority areas for actions in which the work is focusing, include:
- addressing the overloading of trucks that causes loss of lives, huge costs to the economy from the damages of road infrastructure and affects negatively the functioning of road transport market;
- setting up conditions for the access to the profession of road transporters and agents, introducing obligatory training for professional drivers and registration of road transporters, agents and vehicles used, helping upgrade the professionalism and quality of services offered as well enabling better planning and policy decisions;
- setting maximum daily driving hours with 45 minutes stop after four and half hours of driving and obligatory daily and weekly rest times for professional drivers of certain categories of vehicles, along with obligatory installation of speed limiters to heavy vehicles that would save lives, while ensuring better social conditions for drivers and fair competition amongst road transporters;
- setting rules for the transport of dangerous goods and perishable foodstuffs, making roads safer and contributing to food security for the population;
- introducing better standards for vehicles of all categories and their obligatory periodical technical inspection, ensuring the circulation of safer, cleaner and energy efficient vehicles.
During the mission, the EuroMed team had productive meetings and fruitful discussions with the Management of the Land Transport Regulatory Authority: Mr. El Morsey Elhelw, Chairman, Mrs. Hanan Abdel Wahed, Manager, Mr. Emad el din Abdelmodal, Activity National Focal Point, Amgad Abdel Alam and Rabab Sobhi, Transport Planning General Managers and Thematic Focal Points on priority reforms.
Issues discussed included: the setting up, organization and functioning of a National Road Transport Regulatory Committee and Thematic Sub-committees, to coordinate actions amongst competent ministries and key stakeholders; the appointment of Thematic Focal Points, their job descriptions, expected deliverables and action plans; drafting the Executive Regulations for the promotion of priority actions, starting with those on the access to the profession and market of road transporters and transport agents and their registry.
A full day of the mission was devoted in a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Interior, H.E. Mr. Khaled Aly, Brigadier General Ayman Eldabaa, Secretary of the National Road Safety Council, Colonels Ahmed Elhassany and Ahmed Ghazy. The relevant thorough discussions concentrated on the new Traffic Law; issues relating to overloading of trucks; maximum authorized weights and dimensions of heavy vehicles; obligatory installation of speed limiters; driving and rest times of professional drivers and their controls; training of professional drivers; type approval of vehicles and their periodical technical inspections; and Egypt’s accession to important road safety related UN Agreements and Conventions, including the Vienna Conventions on road traffic and road signs and signals of 1968 and the UN Agreements of 1958 and 1997 on the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations setting technical standards of vehicles and their mandatory inspections.
A meeting with H.E. Ambassador Allam, Advisor of the Ministry of Transport and EuroMed National Coordinator, Mr. El Morsey Elhelw, Mrs. Hanan Abdel Wahed, and Mr. Emad el din Abdelmotaal offered the opportunity for discussion on various transport policy issues and the way forward.
A very precise follow up action plan to be implemented during the following weeks and months includes: a meeting of the EuroMed Team Leader with the National Road Safety Council in December 2017; the organization of a workshop on vehicles type approval and periodical inspections, to be hosted by the Ministry of Interior at the end of February 2018, followed by a study tour and visit of type approval and periodical technical inspections centers in Madrid, in April 2018; joint meetings of the Thematic Sub-committees with the EuroMed Transport Support Project team of Experts during the next mission of the team in Egypt (tentatively scheduled to take place in March 2018); the continuation of drafting of the Executive Regulations on all priority issues during the following months and the next mission.
The EuroMed Team is expected to continue offering Technical Assistance to Egypt in support of the country efforts of introducing the necessary reforms in the field of road transport.