Second-gen tachographs: When will they be mandatory?
Discover the various implementation phases set by the European Union for Member States operators to adopt the new second-gen intelligent tachographs (SMT2).
At the beginning of 2023, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) highlighted the shortage of second-generation intelligent tachographs (SMT2) due to recent European Union (EU) regulations defining various SMT2 implementation phases and requiring their installation in new vehicles registered as of August 21, 2023. This EU regulatory change has raised concerns about the limited availability of SMT2 devices, potentially blocking up to 40,000 new vehicle registrations by the end of 2023. This shortage posed challenges to transport operators' plans and threatened the EU's passenger and freight transport capacity.
Given these concerns and considering IRU's call to action, the European Commission proposed a grace period until the end of 2023. This extension allowed vehicles registered after August 2023 to be temporarily accepted with first-generation tachographs on the condition that they upgrade to SMT2 by year-end.
The Commission's strategic measure aimed to prevent the stagnation of new trucks and passenger vehicles, crucial to meeting the EU's CO2 reduction targets. This proactive measure was essential to avoid potential crises as adapting 1.5 to 2 million vehicles became imminent. It emphasized the importance of a well-coordinated transition to safeguard the sector's environmental and operational objectives.
Following the initial phase of transitioning to second-gen tachographs and the conclusion of the grace period, the next stages outlined by the EU include:
August 19, 2024 - From this date, trucks used in international transport will have to come with new tachographs of the second version;
January 1, 2025 - All analog tachographs and digital tachographs manufactured before June 2019 and installed in vehicles used for international transport will have to be exchanged for new smart tachographs of the first or second version;
July 1, 2026 - From that day on, the requirement of the new tachographs in minibus transportation – that is, vehicles of gross vehicle weight (GVW) between 2.5 to 3.5 tons, will come into force. The regulations regard the international transport of goods.
One exception is operators in Member States, who have until August 18, 2025, to equip heavy-duty vehicles registered between August 21, 2023, and December 31, 2023, with SMT2 devices. However, this deadline only applies to vehicles not equipped with SMT2 devices involved in international transport operations.
The European Union regulations ensure a progressive and seamless adoption of second-generation smart tachographs. By focusing on environmental sustainability and operational efficiency, these measures facilitate a smoother transition and establish the groundwork for a more efficient and sustainable future in the transport sector.
- Smart tachograph version 2
- Tachograph data
- Tachograph compliance
- Intelligent fleets
- Fleet management system
- EU regulation
- Grace period