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Article 1.4(b) of EC Regulation 1071/2009 provides for an exemption to the requirements of the regulation if an operator has a main occupation ‘other than that of road passenger transport operator’ (the ‘main occupation’ exemption). If this exemption is satisfied then an applicant or operator would not need to show that they satisfy any of the regulation’s other exemption criteria e.g. that they, “are engaged in road passenger transport services exclusively for non-commercial purposes”.
In the vast majority of applications, examining evidence of their sources of income and amounts received, supported by annual accounts, tax returns and bank account statements in their name, would demonstrate whether transport is the ‘main occupation’ of the operator.
Whether an organisation meets this exemption should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
The following examples demonstrate some of the considerations involved in meeting the criteria for the ‘main occupation’ exemption:
Example 1: Applicant A is a Scout Group who wishes to use a minibus under a permit as part of their activities. Membership of the Scout Association demonstrates that scouting is the main occupation of the organisation, which evidently consumes substantially all of its time and resources.
Example 2: Applicant B is a school set up as a registered charity who wishes to run a number of minibuses using permits to transport the pupils to events. A check of the organisation’s constitutional documents confirms that the organisation’s primary purpose is that of a school, and their accounts show that the activities generating turnover are almost entirely educational in nature and not transport-related.
Example 3: Applicant C is a small community centre who carries out a range of activities including using minibuses under permits to provide trips out to their members. They are a registered charity and demonstrate that non-transport activities (principally, the provision of accommodation for public meetings, local clubs and social functions) consume most of their time and resources, and generate most of their income.
Example 4: Applicant D is a district council who intends to run bus services using permits. The council is able to show that their main occupation is not transport, because most of their time and resources are consumed by the provision of local services other than transport.
The last example (Example 5) shows evidence of an organisation not meeting the criteria for the ‘main occupation’ exemption:
- Example 5: Applicant E is a company limited by guarantee and registered as a charity that has been set up with a view to alleviating social isolation for the elderly in their community. The evidence they provide shows that the majority of their time and resources are consumed by transport activities using vehicles operated under permits. This is also what generates the majority of their income.