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The European Commission (EC) must “listen” to buyers if it is to take advantage of its new EU safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPAs), according to TAPA.

Noting a record number of cargo thefts from trucks in Europe this year, the Transported Asset Protection Association has called on the EC to work with it.

TAPA has developed its own Parking Security Requirements (PSR), which it claims would support the development of the commission’s offering. And by working together there would be less confusion in the market over two standards, it said.

TAPA proposes adapting its PSR to include the core requirements of SSTPA, while retaining its existing oversight mechanisms.

“This will give TAPA certification users an established base of knowledge and experience to call upon and will help promote a faster take-up of certified parking sites across the EU,” said the association.

“Therefore, we are now reaching out to the EC to formally start discussions and are looking for support. Many TAPA members have already expressed a keen interest in this approach,” it added.

It claims a lack of secure parking places is the biggest threat to the safety and security of drivers, trucks and cargo in Europe.

“We are not looking to compete with the EU SSTPSA, we simply want to add value to it,” said Thorsten Neumann, president of TAPA in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region.

“In PSR, we have developed a standard which has been created by industry, for industry, and is already being used at 53 parking locations offering more than 5,000 secure parking places in 10 countries.

“By the end of 2020, we expect to have 80 PSR-certified sites and have put the infrastructure and expertise in place to deliver a full end-to-end certification support to the industry.”

He warned that there was some caution in the market over the EC’s standard, because the predecessor to SSTPA, called EU LABEL, failed to attract sites and failed to maintain certification.

“Our solution is based on this business reality as well as our knowledge of what customers of secure parking places will accept. We support all initiatives, standards and regulatory requirements which promote the safety and security of people, goods, equipment and services in the global supply chain as long as they are affordable, easy-to-adopt, fit-for-purpose and sustainable. We hope the commission’s representatives will step forward to talk to us to achieve a real step change in secure parking in Europe.”

In the first 11 months of 2019, TAPA’s Incident Information Service recorded more than 3,500 cargo thefts from trucks parked in unclassified parking locations in the EMEA region. European Parliament research has estimated that cargo crimes cost businesses in Europe some €8.2bn a year.

But these record statistics will increase, says TAPA, with December one of the worst months of the year for cargo crime. Last December there were 585 crimes reported across 16 countries, against an average of 318 for the first 11 months of 2019.

The majority, which amounted to a loss value of €8.9m, involved criminal attacks on trucks, with thefts of toys and games, tobacco products, tyres, tools and building materials, pharmaceuticals, metal products, furniture and household appliances, food and drink products, cosmetics and hygiene products, computers/laptops, clothing and footwear products, cash and car parts.

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