Act on Professional Transport by Motor Vehicle and Vessel (Professional Transport Act)

Publisert under: Regjeringen Bondevik II

Utgiver: Samferdselsdepartementet

Act on Professional Transport by Motor Vehicle and Vessel (Professional Transport Act)

Chapter 1 General rules
Chapter 2 Licences
Chapter 3 Licensing authority
Chapter 4 Transport services which may be operated without a licence
Chapter 5 Public compensation for regular services
Chapter 6 Common provisions
Chapter 7 Special powers
Chapter 7a Professional licences
Chapter 8 Roadside checks, sanctions etc

Chapter 1 General rules

Section 1 Scope

(1) This act applies to transport by motor vehicle or vessel in Norway; see however section 10.

(2) Hovercraft are regarded as vessels under this act.

(3) Belted vehicles are not regarded as motor vehicles under this act.

Section 2Regular services

(1) Regular services are services which provide for the transport of passengers along a specified route provided such transport is available to all and passengers can join or leave at predetermined stopping points.

(2) However, the following services shall not be regarded as regular services:

a) transport of passengers from a single place of departure and back to this place where the motor vehicle or vessel is not used to carry other passengers until the entire trip is completed,

b) transport of passengers where at least one overnight stop is included in the overall price and the signed-up passengers attend the entire trip from the place of departure to the place of destination,

c) services including overnight stops that are arranged for regular transport of groups of passengers from a departure area to a destination area where the group that has attended the outward journey is carried back to the departure area on a subsequent journey.

Section 3Exceptions

In cases of doubt the ministry may by regulations or by individual decision establish what are to be regarded as regular services.

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Chapter 2 Licences

Section 4Licence for passenger transport services by motor vehicle

(1) Any party intending to operate passenger transport services by motor vehicle for reward must have a licence to do so. The same applies to any party who operates passenger transport services for reward on a basis similar to taxi services where such services are offered to the general public at a public location.

(2) A licence may be granted to any party who

a) is of good repute,

b) has a satisfactory financial standing and

c) has sufficient professional competence.

Section 5Licence for goods transport services by motor vehicle

(1) Any party intending to operate goods transport services for reward by means of a vehicle whose total permissible laden weight exceeds a weight threshold specified by the ministry must be licensed to do so. The same applies to any party who operates goods transport services for reward by means of a motor vehicle which is otherwise exempt from the licensing requirement under section 16, where such transport can be regarded as part of a commercial activity. Section 4 second paragraph applies correspondingly.

(2) The following are regarded as motor vehicles for the purpose of this act: trailers, semi-trailers and tractors permitted for use on public roads.

Section 6Quantity-regulated permit for regular passenger transport services by motor vehicle

(1) Any party intending to operate regular passenger transport services by motor vehicle for reward must in addition to holding a licence under section 4 first paragraph hold a separate licence for regular services.

(2) An administration company as mentioned in section 23 does not require a licence.

(3) Any party holding a licence for regular passenger transport services by motor vehicle may concurrently operate goods transport services using the same motor vehicle without a separate goods transport licence.

Section 7Quantity-regulated permit for regular passenger transport services by vessel

(1) A party intending to operate regular passenger transport services for reward by hovercraft or by any other vessel of 8 metres or more equivalent to 4 gross register tons must hold a licence to operate regular passenger transport services. Section 4 second paragraph a) and b) and section 6 second paragraph apply correspondingly.

(2) However, a licence for regular passenger transport services is not required for:

a) Transport of passengers between Norway and other countries that includes transport of passengers between locations in Norway.

b) Transport of passengers within a harbour district, provided a special licensing arrangement has been established pursuant to Act No. 51 of 8 June 1984 concerning Ports and Fairways. However, this does not apply to national highway ferry links.

c) Transport of up to 12 passengers, limited to one person per 25 gross register tons, provided no passenger certificate is required pursuant to Act No. 7 of 9 June 1903 concerning Government Control of Ships’ Seaworthiness etc., section 94.

Section 8Allotment of licence by public tender

Licences to be awarded under section 6 and 7 may be granted by public tender. The ministry is responsible for laying down detailed regulations on tender procedures.

Section 9Quantity-regulated permit for occasional passenger transport services by motor vehicle

(1) Any party intending to operate occasional passenger transport services for reward by means of a motor vehicle registered for up to 9 persons must in addition to a licence under section 4 hold a separate taxi service operators’ licence.

(2) A taxi service operator’s licence granted to a natural person ceases to be valid when the holder reaches the age of 70.

(3) The licensing authority may issue an order concerning the establishment of taxi dispatch centres and concerning their operation, concerning the obligation to pay a deposit and fees to such a centre and concerning the centre's right to decide the shift rota and to issue other rules for the business. Such rules may be made applicable to licence holders and drivers alike, and may require the use of a uniform.

(4) The ministry may lay down regulations concerning other special licensing arrangements for occasional passenger transport by means of motor vehicles registered for up to 17 persons.

(5) The ministry may lay down regulations concerning how a motor vehicle shall be equipped when used for passenger transport services requiring a licence under this section.

Section 10International transport services by motor vehicle etc.

(1) Any party whose place of business is in Norway and who intends to operate passenger or goods transport services to or from other countries for reward must be entitled to operate corresponding transport services within Norway and, if required, to hold authorisation from the state in question.

(2) Any party whose place of business is in another country and who intends to operate passenger or goods transport services to or from Norway for reward must hold authorisation from Norway unless otherwise stated in an international agreement to which Norway is a party.

(3) No party whose place of business is outside Norway may operate passenger or goods transport services for reward between locations in Norway unless permitted to do so by international agreement to which Norway is a party. The ministry may, by individual decision, authorise such transport services in the case of undertakings operating out of countries with which Norway does not have a corresponding agreement.

(4) The ministry may issue regulations containing further rules and conditions governing transport services by motor vehicle for reward to or from Norway, and governing transport for reward between locations in Norway provided by a party whose place of business is in another country.

Section 11Conditions

The licensing authority may attach conditions to the individual licence.

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Chapter 3 Licensing authority

Section 12Licences

Licences pursuant to sections 4, 5 and 9 are granted by the county municipality.

Section 13Needs-tested licence for regular passenger transport services

(1) The ministry grants licences to operators of national highway ferry links and for regular transport services that traverse two or more counties.

(2) Subject to the delimitation in the first paragraph, the county municipality grants licences for regular transport services under sections 6 and 7.

Section 14International transport services and cabotage

The ministry grants licences for transport services coming under section 10.

Section 15Delegation

The ministry may delegate its tasks under this act to the county municipality.

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Chapter 4 Transport services which may be operated without a licence

Section 16Transport on own account

(1) No licence is required under section 5 for transport of goods which are the property of the party in question (own-account transport) where such transport forms part of the party’s commercial business.

(2) Goods which the party concerned has in, or which may come into, his possession or which he has in this connection bought, sold, loaned, hired, produced, processed or repaired are considered identical to the said party’s property.

(3) The first paragraph only applies to goods transport which is ancillary to the undertaking's total activity and is performed by the owner of the undertaking or by an employee in the undertaking.

(4) A motor vehicle which is used for own-account transport shall be furnished with an own-transport statement which shall accompany the motor vehicle and be presented for roadside checks. No own-transport statement is required for state, county municipal or municipal agencies' own-account transport using their own motor vehicles.

(5) The first paragraph only applies to motor vehicles which the undertaking owns or is entitled to use pursuant to leasing or hire contracts which shall be presented for any inspection.

Section 17Transport of mail

Norway Post does not require a licence for the transport of mail consignments which fall within the scope of nationally required tasks and which are set out in the company's concession under Act No. 73 of 29 November 1996 relating to the Provision of Universal Postal Services (Postal Services Act). Exemption from the licensing requirement only applies to transport which Norway Post performs using motor vehicles which the company owns or is entitled to use pursuant to leasing or hire contracts which shall be presented for any inspection.

Section 18Transport of passengers on own account

No licence is required where an undertaking transports its own employees to or from their place of work. Neither is a licence required where a hotel or similar undertaking provides transport for its own overnight guests. Section 16 fifth paragraph applies correspondingly.

Section 19Passenger transport pertaining to employment in the public health and care sector

(1) Employees in public service or in a government-approved institution within the public health or care sector do not require a licence in order to engage in passenger transport by motor vehicle registered for up to 9 persons including the driver, provided such transport can be regarded as a natural part of the employee's tasks.

(2) The first paragraph applies only to transport which can be regarded as an ancillary function and where payment for such transport does not exceed government mileage reimbursement rates.

Section 20Other passenger transport

(1) No licence is required where a person who has a car at his disposal takes work colleagues or neighbours with him when he drives between his place of residence and his place of work.

(2) Neither is a licence required for the transport of sick or injured persons by authorised ambulance.

Section 21Special transport

(1) The ministry may by regulations or by individual decision establish exemptions from the licensing requirement for specific types of transport or motor vehicles provided this does not conflict with international agreements to which Norway is a party.

(2) Section 11 applies correspondingly to exemptions from the licensing requirement pursuant to this section.

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Chapter 5 Public compensation for regular services

Section 22Local regular services

(1) The county municipality is responsible for paying compensation in respect of regular services which the county municipality intends to establish or maintain within the county; cf however section 24.

(2) Decisions by the county municipalities in matters relating to approval of timetables, tariffs and compensation may not be appealed to the ministry.

(3) The state pays an annual block grant to cover part of the county municipalities' expenses. The grant is distributed via the local government revenue system in accordance with rules laid down by the King.

(4) The county municipalities shall within the deadlines set by the ministry present their budgets and accounts and provide any other information needed by the ministry in order to assess the overall future need for compensation.

(5) The county municipality stipulates the type of contract and guidelines which shall apply to allocation of compensation.

(6) A contract of compensation entered into on a tender basis shall apply for at least five years, apart from in the case of temporary services. When called for on special grounds, an existing contract may be extended for a brief period.

Section 23Administration company

The county municipality may decide that compensation for regular services shall go to a company which administers the regular routes in the county. Section 22 fifth and sixth paragraphs applies correspondingly.

Section 24National highway ferry links

The ministry is responsible for paying compensation to operators of ferry links in the national highway system. The ministry stipulates the type of contract and guidelines which shall apply to allocation of compensation. Where a tender procedure is employed, section 22 sixth paragraph applies correspondingly.

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Chapter 6 Common provisions

Section 25Allocation of licences

A licence under this act may be granted to any party who meets the requirements of this act or of regulations issued pursuant thereto. A company or other legal person may be awarded a licence on conditions established by the ministry.

Section 26Certificate of good conduct

A certificate of good conduct may be required when applying for a licence under this act and, once the licence has been granted, a certificate of good conduct may be required after a period to be specified by the ministry.

Section 27Duration of licence

(1) A licence pursuant to sections 4 and 5 is valid indefinitely; cf however section 9 second paragraph.

(2) An needs-tested licence pursuant to sections 6 and 7 is valid for ten years. The licensing authority may withdraw a licence before its expiry date if the service or service area concerned is to be put out to tender.

(3) A licence may be granted for a shorter period in cases where the operation of the service is put out to tender, or when called for on special grounds.

(4) The ministry may in the licensing period make amendments to the regulations for undertakings which are subject to licensing and to any conditions attached to a licence. Should the licence holder not wish to continue operating under the new conditions, he shall be allowed a reasonable period in which to close down the undertaking.

Section 28Transfer of licence etc

A licence holder may not transfer his licence to another party without the consent of the licensing authority.

Section 29Withdrawal of licence

(1) The licensing authority may withdraw a licence if the licence holder fails to meet the requirements set in regulations and in the conditions of the licence or fails to comply with regulations and conditions governing the operation of the undertaking.

(2) If the licence holder dies, the person having disposal over his estate shall immediately report the death to the authority which has granted the licence. The same shall be done where the licence holder goes bankrupt. Where a licence holder dies or goes bankrupt, the licence may be withdrawn without notice. The ministry may issue further provisions regarding termination of licences in the event of the licence holder’s death.

(3) Where the right to operate an undertaking subject to licensing under this act has lapsed, the licence holder or whoever disposes over his estate shall immediately return the licence documents and licence plates that he has received from the licensing authority.

(4) Where a decision is made to withdraw a licence, it may at the same time be determined that the party in question shall not receive a new licence until a specified period has elapsed without regard to whether or not the said party meets the requirements for a new licence.

Section 30Motor vehicle marking

The ministry may lay down regulations to the effect that a motor vehicle used for transport subject to licensing shall carry a licence plate.

Section 31Fee

The ministry may issue regulations requiring that a fee be paid for the issuance of licence documents, licence plates or other documentation under this act.

Section 32Obligation to provide statistics etc

(1) Any party who, in connection with a business or undertaking he operates, dispatches or receives goods, and any party who operates or directly or indirectly arranges transport of passengers or goods for reward, shall provide such information as is requested by the ministry for the purpose of implementing this act.

(2) The ministry may lay down regulations in regard to statistics for transport services that are subject to licensing and for transport services that are exempt from licensing under this act.

Section 33Conditions of carriage

(1) The ministry may by regulations or by individual decision issue rules regarding conditions of carriage and regarding additional payment for passengers not holding a valid ticket on regular services.

(2) Passengers on regular transport services coming under this act who are unable to present a valid ticket at a ticket inspection when asked to do so, and who fail to pay on the spot the additional charge authorised by the ministry pursuant to the first paragraph, may be detained by the transport company's inspectors so long as they fail to provide adequate information on their name, address and date of birth. The right to detain passengers also applies during the time it takes to confirm the details they have given.

(3) The right to detain passengers under the second paragraph only applies where such right has been authorised by the ministry as part of the company's conditions of carriage.

(4) Passenger may not be detained in circumstances where this would constitute an unreasonable intervention.

(5) Passengers under the age of 15 should not be detained.

Section 34Deadline for bringing civil action

The deadline for bringing civil action under the Civil Procedure Act section 437 second paragraph first sentence against decisions made by a government agency under this act shall be two months.

Section 35Supplementary regulations

The ministry may issue further regulations on each individual licensing arrangement and supplementary regulations for the implementation of this act.

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Chapter 7 Special powers

Section 36Extraordinary circumstances

The ministry may, when transport needs in extraordinary circumstances so require, order a licence holder to perform certain transport assignments. The same applies to others who own or use motor vehicles for goods and passenger transport, to vessels subject to measurement, to the state rail traffic company and to rail traffic companies in which the state rail traffic company has a stake of more than 50 per cent.

Section 37Civilian transport preparedness

The ministry may make regulations concerning civilian transport preparedness in peacetime, in a state of preparedness, in the event of mobilisation, in time of war and in extraordinary crisis situations. The ministry may also make regulations containing exceptions to the rules of this act. The ministry may impose transport preparedness tasks on the county municipalities.

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Chapter 7A Professional licences

Section 37aScope

Drivers of taxis, limousines , coaches, buses and motor vehicles which are specially designed and/or equipped to carry disabled persons, must have with them a professional licence in addition to their driving licence while carrying passengers for reward.

A professional licence is valid throughout the country and is issued by the chief of police or whomever he empowers in the locality where the person in question resides. It is not necessary to renew a professional licence upon moving to a new place of residence, cf section 37c second paragraph.

A professional licence is issued for a ten-year period. For persons who have reached the age of 60 the professional licence is issued for a period of five years, but not beyond the point at which the holder reaches the age of 70. Where special health factors so indicate, the professional licence shall have a shorter validity period.

Section 37bApplication for professional licence etc

Applications for a professional licence shall be made using the prescribed form. A medical certificate shall accompany applications for a professional licence and applications for renewal of a professional licence.

The same requirements as to health etc., apply as in the case of driving licences within category D and DE. Where the holder of a professional licence no longer meets the requirements for sight, hearing and competence, he or she is obliged to notify the police.

The police shall endorse the professional licence with any applicable restrictions.

Section 37cConditions for granting a professional licence etc

Persons receiving a professional licence must have reached the age of 20 and be of such repute that the police do not deem them to be unfit to drive a motor vehicle as mentioned in section 37a.

The chief of police or whomever he empowers may decide that applicants for a taxi service operator’s licence shall be required to take a test showing sufficient knowledge of the district to which the licence applies. Where such a decision has been implemented, a permit from another police district will not be valid without a police endorsement to the effect that the person concerned has passed the test for familiarity with the district in question.

Section 37dTemporary refusal of professional licence

Where a non-holder of a professional licence is with just cause suspected of a criminal offence which may be crucial to that person's right to obtain a professional licence, the chief of police or whomever he empowers may decide that a licence shall not be issued until the matter is finally decided, albeit not for more than three months unless a judgement is handed down by the court of first instance.

Section 37eConfiscation of professional licence

Where the police find that a holder of a professional licence is with just cause suspected of a criminal offence which may entail loss of the right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward, cf section 37f second paragraph, a police officer may confiscate the licence. The question of upholding such confiscation shall as soon as possible be brought before an officer representing the prosecuting authority. The decision shall be made in writing. Should the suspect not consent to the confiscation, the question of continued confiscation of the licence shall be submitted within three weeks to the court of first instance for decision.

Section 37fWithdrawal and loss of right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward

The chief of police or whomever he empowers may decide to withdraw the right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward if the person concerned is inebriate or turns out to be unreliable or to have other characteristics which render him unfit to drive a vehicle while transporting passengers for reward.

Where sentence is imposed on the holder of a professional licence, it may be stipulated in the same judgement or in the penalty notice that the person concerned shall lose his or her right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward for a specified period or indefinitely, if this is required in the public interest.

Section 37gSurrender ofprofessional licence

In the event of confiscation of a professional licence or withdrawal or loss of the right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward, the holder is obliged to surrender his or her permit to the police immediately.

Section 37hAppeal and exceptions

The Police Directorate is the appeal body for decisions made by the police. In appeals concerning health and physical requirements for a professional licence the police shall base their decision on the final ruling of the Norwegian Board of Health on the health aspects of the case. Where the appeal concerns the physical requirements and the decision has been made by the regional road office, the police shall base their decision on the final ruling of the Norwegian Directorate of Public Roads. Where decisions reached by the regional road office are concerned, the appeal body is the Norwegian Directorate of Public Roads.

The Police Directorate may make exceptions to the rules of this chapter in special cases.

Section 37iReduction due to subsequent circumstances etc

Withdrawal of the right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward shall not prevent the chief of police or whomever he empowers from issuing a new professional licence provided the reasons for withdrawal of the licence no longer apply.

Where special grounds so indicate, the chief of police or whomever he empowers may reduce the period of loss of the right to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers for reward that has been established by judgement or penalty notice, cf section 37f. Where especially compelling reasons so indicate, the period may be shortened even though the minimum period of withdrawal pursuant to law or regulations has not expired.

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Chapter 8 Roadside checks, sanctions etc

Section 38Documents to be presented

The driver of a motor vehicle or vessel engaged in transport services which are subject to licensing or in own-account transport which is not subject to licensing shall on each individual journey have with him such licence documents as he is required to present in the event of a roadside check by the police, the Public Roads Administration or other public officer whom the ministry and empowers to carry out roadside checks under this act.

Section 39Roadside checks of own-account transport

As and when requested by the inspecting authority, a driver is obliged to provide access to any merchandise compartment, container, tilt trailer or the like pertaining to a motor vehicle that is exempted from licensing pursuant to sections 16 and 17.

Section 40Prohibition of use of vehicle etc

(1) A party empowered to conduct roadside checks under this act may, for whatever period is deemed necessary, prohibit the use of a vehicle which is utilised to transport passengers or goods without the prescribed licence or other authorisation under this act. Goods transported without the prescribed licence may be required to be transhipped immediately.

(2) An order prohibiting use of a vehicle may be implemented immediately.

(3) Where the use of a vehicle is prohibited, the licence plates and registration document may be confiscated immediately.

(4) A vehicle whose use is prohibited may be taken into custody by the inspecting authority when the latter considers such action necessary. If the vehicle is not claimed within three months of the expiry of the prohibition period, it may be sold once the owner has received notification thereof by registered letter. The rules of the Road Traffic Act section 37 fourth paragraph third sentence and fifth to seventh paragraph apply correspondingly.

Section 41Penalties

Any party who wilfully or through negligence contravenes or assists in the contravention of this act or regulations or conditions laid down pursuant to this act, is liable to punishment by fine. Any attempt to commit such a contravention is also a criminal offence.

Section 42Commencement. Transitional provisions

1. This act shall come into force as from the date decided by the King.

2. Rules, regulations and decisions in pursuance of Act No. 63 of 4 June 1976 on Transport and Communications also apply after this act has come into force.

Section 43Amendments to other Acts

The following amendments will be made to other acts as from the date when this act comes into force.

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