Sweden lifts ban on long Norwegian trucks

After three weeks of negotiating with Swedish authorities, Norwegian trucks that weigh more than 40 tons are allowed to cross the border again.

"The case created a lot of frustration, it was simply a scandal," says Guttorm Tysnes, regional manager in Norways truck association chapter for Hedmark and Oppland counties.

According to Tysnes, the mood has been quite tense among truck drivers the past weeks, who feared that they would not be able transport any of their goods across the border due to new Swedish regulations.

The background for the new legislation was a court case where a Swedish driver was convicted because the truck's load was too heavy. The Swedish Police Directorate thought the sentence implied that all trucks that travel through Sweden should follow the E.U. regulations for length and load, which is a maximum of 18,75 meters and 40 tonnes.

Up until the new regulations were introduced, the Scandinavian countries have had a special agreement that allows Norwegian truck drivers to carry a heavier load and have longer vehicles. A change in the legislation would mean re-building all the trucks, which would have an estimated price tag of NOK 750 million.

However, after three weeks of discussions and negotiations, the conflict has been resolved.

"The truck owners are very happy that the conflict has been resolved. Often it can take several years to solve these types of conflicts," Tysnes tells NRK. He feels confident that the case has now been finalized and closed once and for all.

"If it was not for the fact that we have to drive, we would have to pop a bottle of champagne!" the regional manager exclaims.

(NRK)

Julie Ryland

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