This feature summarises the key laws in commercial transport that are affected by Brexit.

Common rules for access to the market and for road transport operators

The Licensing of Operators and International Road Haulage (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 708) aim to ensure that, following Brexit, legislation in the field of transportation of passengers and goods between the Member States of the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK continues to operate effectively. In particular, they amend legislation relating to the standards and requirements to be complied with by road transport operators engaging in international transportation and legislation concerning the licensing of operators.

This legislation includes:

  • EC Regulation 1071/2009 establishing common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator

  • EC Regulation 1072/2009 on common rules for access to the international road haulage market.

This legal situation is subject to the outcome of further negotiations.

Note on EU exit day

The Government originally included the date of the planned leaving day when producing legislation that would come into effect once the UK has left the EU. However, as the date was moved from 29 March 2019 to either 12 April or 22 May 2019, and then changed again to 31 October 2019, it became apparent that a different system was required and legislators introduced the term “exit day” as the preferred term for the coming into effect date.

Drivers’ hours and tachographs

UK implementing legislation

The Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 453) address failures of retained EU law relating to drivers’ hours and tachographs to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. In particular, they make provision under s.2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 implementing the EC Drivers’ Hours Regulation (561/2006) and the EU Tachographs Regulation (165/2014).

Article 2(3) of the EC Drivers’ Hours Regulation (561/2006) applies the European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) of 1 July 1970 in EU Member States, requiring the implementation of the AETR in those States.

The UK implementing legislation (2019/453) which has been amended includes:

  • Motor Vehicles (Designation of Approval Marks) Regulations 1979

  • Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) Regulations 1979

  • Motor Vehicles (Type Approval) Regulations 1980

  • Motor Vehicles (Tests) Regulations 1981

  • Fixed Penalty Order 2000

  • Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005

  • Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) (Tachograph Card Fees) Regulations 2005

  • Community Drivers’ Hours and Recording Equipment Regulations 2007

  • Road Safety (Financial Penalty Deposit) Order 2009

  • Road Safety (Financial Penalty Deposit) (Appropriate Amount) Order 2009.

Retained direct EU legislation

With regard to retained direct EU legislation:

  • EU Regulation 2016/799 implementing EU Regulation 165/2014 laying down the requirements for the construction, testing, installation, operation and repair of tachographs and their components is amended

  • EC Regulation 3916/90 on measures to be taken in the event of a crisis in the market in the carriage of goods by road and EU Regulation 2016/68 on common procedures and specifications necessary for the interconnection of electronic registers of driver cards are revoked

  • Part 2 of these Regulations (SI 2019 No. 453) contains the amendments made under s.2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, which update pre-existing references to the two EU regulations and the AETR, and include references to the EU Tachographs Regulation as amended from time to time and the AETR.

Part 2 of these Regulations (SI 2019 No. 453) contains the amendments made under s.2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, which update pre-existing references to the two EU regulations and the AETR, and include references to the EU Tachographs Regulation as amended from time to time and the AETR.

The amendments in this Part also implement penalties relating to requirements on testing for security vulnerabilities and penalties relating to the prohibition of the supply of recording equipment without a type-approval certificate; and provide for offences and penalties for failure to comply with requirements under AETR, in particular failing to properly install and use recording equipment; supplying recording equipment without a valid type-approval certificate; and failing to notify authorities of security vulnerabilities.

These amendments to AETR came into force on 26 March 2019. The remaining sections come into force on EU exit day, currently unspecified.

The Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 596) aim to ensure that, following Brexit, legislation relating to drivers’ hours and tachographs continues to operate correctly. They specifically concern legislation which was enacted to implement the EC Drivers’ Hours Regulation (561/2006) and the EU Tachographs Regulation (165/2014). For further details, see Andrew Woolfall’s feature on Brexit and the need to change the rules on drivers’ hours.

EU Exit Regulations become retained EU law under the EU Withdrawal Act and are amended for the whole of the UK in the Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Parts 1 and 4 of these 2019/596 Regulations (which extend to the UK) come into force on 11 April 2019.

Parts 2 and 3 of these 2019/596 Regulations (which cover Northern Ireland only) come into force that day, or the day the UK leaves the EU — whichever is the later (see Note on EU exit day above).

Driving licences

The Driving Licences (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 194) relate to driving licences and address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Among the amendments, the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 are changed so that “initial qualification” means “initial CPC” within the meaning of the Vehicle Drivers (Certificates of Professional Competence) Regulations 2007.

The date for coming into force is given as EU exit day. See Note on EU exit day above.

Emissions

The Road Vehicle Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 550) aim to ensure that, following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, legislation relating to carbon dioxide (CO2) emission performance targets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans) continues to operate effectively. They make amendments to EC Regulation 443/2009 and EU Regulation 510/2011 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles respectively, and to the following associated items of EU legislation:

  • EU Regulation 1014/2010 on monitoring and reporting of data on the registration of new passenger cars

  • EU Regulation 63/2011 laying down detailed provisions for the application for a derogation from the specific CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars

  • EU Regulation 725/2011 establishing a procedure for the approval and certification of innovative technologies for reducing CO2 emissions from passenger cars

  • EU Regulation 293/2012 on monitoring and reporting of data on the registration of new light commercial vehicles

  • EU Regulation 114/2013 concerning rules for the application for a derogation from the specific CO2 emissions targets for new light commercial vehicles

  • EU Regulation 427/2014 establishing a procedure for the approval and certification of innovative technologies for reducing CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles.

The date given for entry into force is EU exit day.

The Heavy Duty Vehicles (Emissions and Fuel Consumption) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 846) aim to ensure that, following Brexit, legislation concerning the monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from, and fuel consumption of, new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) continues to operate effectively.

They amend EU Regulation 2018/956 (the HDV Regulation) particularly by imposing a new duty on manufacturers to report data referred to in Part A of Annex I to that Regulation.

Note that, in EU law, HDVs include buses, coaches and lorries exceeding 16 tonnes. Coming into force on EU exit day, these Regulations can be found here.

Motor insurance

The Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/551) aim to ensure that, following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, legislation concerning compulsory motor insurance continues to operate effectively.

  • Many of the amendments adjust language and references to recognise that the UK is no longer a Member State of the EU but otherwise maintain the status quo in respect of compulsory third-party liability insurance in the UK.

  • The requirement for the UK’s Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) to act as a Compensation Body under the EU’s protection of visitors scheme (visiting victims scheme) is removed.

The date given for entry into force is EU exit day.

Operator Licensing

The Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Temporary Use in Great Britain) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 670) came into force on 23 April 2019 to amend the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Temporary Use in Great Britain) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996 No. 2186) to accommodate bilateral international agreements on road transport entered into by the United Kingdom.

They insert:

  • a new definition for both a Euro V and a Euro VI vehicle emission standard engine

  • introduce certain requirements concerning vehicles from Ukraine, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

In addition, they contain provisions on operators from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (members of the European Economic Area (EEA)).

These Regulations can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk.

Type approval

The Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 648) came into effect, with regard to the sections dealing with Northern Ireland on 17 April 2019. Otherwise, they will come into effect on EU exit day.

They make temporary amendments to legislation in the field of type approval for road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery and, in particular, provide for an interim arrangement allowing the Secretary of State or Northern Ireland Department to issue type approval certificates to holders of EU type approval granted other than in the United Kingdom and (in respect of road vehicles) for those type approval certificates to be the basis for issue of certificates of conformity used for the purposes of vehicle registration.

Part 2 amends primary legislation (including the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994), Part 4 amends Northern Ireland legislation, Part 5 amends subordinate legislation, and Part 6 amends retained direct EU legislation (including Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 on requirements relating to gaseous and particulate pollutant emission limits and type-approval for internal combustion engines for non-road mobile machinery).

The Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 691) vary the date for commencement of Part 3 of the Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 648). The amendment to SI 2019 No. 648 is required because of the late making of these Regulations with the result that Part 3 would not properly commence before EU exit day.

These regulations came into force on 28 March 2019.

The Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No 3) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 1156) amend the Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 648) to:

  • vary the period during which the increase in permitted production limits for National Small Series Type Approval provided for by SI 2019 No. 648 applies. This is necessary due to the change in exit day from 29 March 2019;

  • replace the multiplication factor applied to the figures in Table 1 of Regulation 25 of the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009 No. 717) by SI 2019 No. 648 relating to vehicle categories M1 (cars) and N1 (light goods vehicles) with a limit of 1000 vehicles; and

  • revoke Regulation (EU) 2019/26 (which makes provision in EU legislation for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union) and make transitional provision in respect of that revocation.

They can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk.

Date of writing: 11 April 2019. Updated 23 September 2019.

Last reviewed 25 September 2019