A warning around the introduction of second generation smart tachograph units has been sounded to coach operators that travel abroad.
Under retained EU regulations, new vehicles first registered from 21 August and which have a tachograph must be fitted with second generation smart units. One coach dealership has suggested that supply of that equipment may initially be constrained, although another source believes otherwise.
The parliament.uk website noted in 2022 that if availability is limited, a “pragmatic solution” will be deployed here, although there is no guarantee that it would apply to those vehicles when travelling into the EU. That document highlights that a dispensation of sorts under similar circumstances was given when the first generation of smart tachograph units became mandated in new vehicles, in 2019.
Additionally, existing tachograph-equipped vehicles used internationally must eventually gain second generation smart units. For those with first generation smart units, the deadline for that is 18 August 2025. Where analogue or earlier digital units are fitted, it is 31 December 2024. Vehicles used only domestically are unaffected.
The second generation smart tachograph has new functionality majoring on use of the Galileo Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA). That allows verification of positions reported by the unit via the Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
As of May, OSNMA remained under testing, with service declaration expected after 21 August, according to implementation notes published then by the European Commission. That left type approval of vehicle units “uncertain.”
With late-stage approval in mind, an EC dispensation allowing installation of transitional second generation smart tachographs – lacking OSNMA – will run until May 2024. When installed, those transitional units will be permitted for use in the EU for the vehicle’s lifespan.
It had been suggested that transitional units may eventually need a software upgrade to deliver full second generation smart functionality. In April, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) aired concerns about the cost involved and the expectation that it would fall on the vehicle operator. It has since been clarified by the EC that any such update would be voluntary, IRU says.