Tractor test rules signed off ‘without final consultation’ from stakeholders

The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) issued statements via social media last night (Monday, April 17) to say that neither its organisation, nor other industry stakeholders, had been consulted prior to the final signing off on new “fast tractor” regulations yesterday.

In the statement posted on the group’s Facebook page, the organisation said: “FCI has tonight received the following press statement which was issued by Minister Shane Ross TD [Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport] to the media on Sunday, April 15, without final and prior consultation with any stakeholders mentioned in the statement, as was agreed.”

The FCI quoted directly from the press release, citing: “Following months of discussions Minister Shane Ross has signed off on new regulations for the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles – including tractors.

“An EU Directive (2014/45/EU) required roadworthiness testing for certain tractors which can exceed 40kph – otherwise known as ‘fast tractors’.

“At the invitation of Minister Ross, representative groups from the agriculture and forestry sectors met with his officials on a number of occasions to discuss their concerns about the manner in which the regulations impacted their members farms and businesses,” the FCI quoted.

The cited department press release indicated that Minister Ross had signed off on the new legislation having taken the concerns of all stakeholders on board and following legal advice.

The statement went on to quote the finer details of the new regulations.

Also Read: Finer details of ‘fast’ tractor testing emerge

However, the FCI has stressed that the association did not agree to the final text.

Document access

In another statement posted on the group’s Facebook page earlier yesterday evening, the FCI said: “Despite reports in the national media today, FCI has not agreed the final text of the proposed SI on Tractor Roadworthiness Testing as we have not been provided with a final discussion meeting on the issues nor have we, or any other party, been given access to the document – despite numerous requests.

We are still waiting [for] the opportunity for a meeting with officials of the Department of Transport.