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LABEL Newsletter Nº 2 : September 2009

by ROB DE LEEUW VAN WEENEN — Senior Project Manager, NEA Transport research and training

LABEL now on the brink of starting the certification of truck parking areas

After producing recommendations distinguishing levels with regards to safety, security, comfort & dignity and food & shopping, LABEL is now preparing for the practical aspects. LABEL auditors and certifiers are to assess a number of parking areas across the European Union.

As a part of further developing and promoting LABEL, a select group of Truck Parking Areas will have the possibility within LABEL to have themselves certified and be among the first to obtain a LABEL Certificate. Being one of the first to be certified under LABEL can give Truck Parking Areas a head start. In the past months, this message has been communicated in various ways: direct mail, phone contact, e-mail, internet, by contacting umbrella organizations and through national governments. We had many enthusiastic reactions from truck parking areas that notified us of their interest to take part. Currently we are finalizing the selection process.

From the truck parking areas that expressed their interest, at least 75 will be chosen, divided over at least 10 different EU countries. This does not mean that we are only looking for the most secure and best quality truck parking areas. In fact, although high-end security and quality truck parking areas are certainly part of this group of 75, there is a variety in rating levels. Therefore, we strive for a wide range of security and quality levels, i.e. from un-serviced areas to high quality and/or security sites. To be more precise, the following criteria will be considered when establishing the shortlist of parking areas to be LABEL Certified for fee as part of the first batch of certification:

DEKRA Certification GmbH and Atlantis International Services SA are the certifiers within the LABEL project team. They will contact the truck parking areas to plan audit visits in order to determine the adequate truck parking area ratings and, in due time, issue a certificate. The upcoming audit visits will teach us more about the practical implications of TRUCK PARKING AREA certification. Depending on our findings, the LABEL Certification methodology will be further fine-tuned in order to create a market-driven standard.

More about this in the next newsletter.