English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 6 - 2019 | Page 29

REGULATIONS Basque country it is different: the driving ban there starts on Saturday (or the day before a holiday) from 13.00 hrs to Sunday 24.00 hrs. There is also a driving ban on 31 July from 08.00 hrs to 24.00 hrs. APPLICATION PROCEDURE The procedure to apply for exemptions in Spain is not complicated as long as it doesn’t concern transport in the ‘Excepcional’ category. Prior to applying for an exemption the transport company and their equipment must be registered. This can only be done with documents that have been translated by a translator who is recognised in Spain. In the Basque country and Navarre a copy of the translated documents with the application is sufficient. For the rest of Spain the original documents must be supplied with the application. This registration is a one-off. When this has been completed a standard application will be dealt with quite quickly. Most exemptions (except in the ‘Excepcional’ category) are issued within a week. Note that the special exemption for the port of Barcelona can take longer. If prepared properly the entire procedure in Spain runs quite smoothly. SECURITY DEPOSITS With large, heavy transports there is a real risk of damaging the road, bridges or buildings. To ensure that any damage will be compensated, a deposit has to be paid in the ‘Excepcionel’ category. This deposit may be as much as € 6,000 per trip in one region. And don’t expect an employee of the region to go and check the day after the transport to see if any damage has been done. Reports of damage can still come in after months. That’s why it can take up to a year before the deposit is paid back into the company’s bank account. ALTERNATIVE ROUTES Exemptions in the category ‘Genérica’ (up to 20.55m long and 3m wide) are applicable in the whole of Spain. This long-term exemption does not apply to all the roads. Some roads – such as a number of toll roads – are not owned by the government. For those roads a separate exemption must be applied for. In practice most people will look for alternative routes, so that it won’t be necessary to apply for several exemptions for one single transport. ■  THE COSTS The costs of an exemption in Spain are about average compared with other countries in Europe. Not exactly cheap but not too expensive either. The costs comprise different amounts for the Basque country, Navarre and the rest of Spain plus an amount depending on the number of trailers on the exemption. For an expert it is not difficult to more or less accurately calculate the costs of a Spanish exemption beforehand. FINES AND CHECKS In Spain abnormal transports are regularly checked. Minor infringements are usually settled with a fine if the correct exemption can be produced. If the weight is too high it is more severely penalized than a few centimetres too high or too wide. After a check the transport can nearly always continue on its way. Only in exceptional situations will you be asked to transfer the load to another vehicle. ESCORTS For normal transports in the ‘Específica’ category private escorts may be used. ‘Excepcional’ transports are usually escorted by the police department ATGC (Agrupación de Tráfico de la Guardia Civil). It’s possible to drive in convoy with some special transport vehicles. The applications for exemptions are processed quickly, the costs are not extremely high and there are no complicated rules regarding escorting. The deposits that have to be paid for transports with a gross weight of more than 110 tonnes prevent many transport companies from carrying out these transports. Typical for Spain is the number of national and regional holidays. On those days all transport just stops.  ■ Spain has many national and regional holidays when there are driving bans 29