International road haulage if there is a no-deal Brexit

22 August 2019

A new guide has been published to help UK goods vehicle operators to understand what they need to do to carry out international road haulage in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Published by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, this includes a link where they can sign up for email alerts giving the latest information.

Available at GOV.UK website, the guidance highlights that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, operators will still require a standard international operator licence for journeys to, through or from, the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).

The EU Community Licence that accompanies an existing international operator licence will also remain in effect until 31 December 2019, even if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Operators who renew their licence after a no-deal Brexit will be issued with a “UK Licence for the Community” which has the same effect as the current Community Licence.

“You can complete most international journeys until 31 December 2019 without extra permits,” it confirms. “This includes if there’s a no-deal Brexit.”

However, operators will need European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits for journeys through EU and EEA countries to ECMT countries not in the EU or EEA. These countries are: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

Full details of applying for ECMT international road haulage permits can be found here.

“You will be able to buy these permits later in the year,” it notes. “Check back for the latest information.”

Operators will not need extra permits for haulage in Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit as they will be able to use their EU Community Licence for journeys.

While they will still be able to drive in Switzerland and Norway using an EU Community Licence (if there is a no-deal Brexit), they will need an ECMT permit for the part of the journey through EU and EEA countries.

The new guide also covers cabotage and so-called own account journeys where a vehicle is only carrying goods in connection with the operator’s own business or is not being used for hire or reward.