Last reviewed 8 November 2018

Recently, we reported that operators would be able to apply for lorry permits from 26 November 2018 to cover themselves against the “unlikely event” of the Government failing to reach agreement with the EU (see Post-Brexit lorry permits).

Now, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Traffic Commissioners have published International Road Haulage Permits: Guidance on Determining Permit Allocations.

Available at, this explains how permits will be allocated and what hauliers need to do next.

There are, the guide notes, a limited number of European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits available for UK hauliers. For 2019, there are 984 annual permits for Euro VI emission vehicles, 2592 monthly permits for Euro VI emission vehicles and 240 monthly permits for Euro V or VI emission vehicles.

DfT expects the number of applications for ECMT permits will exceed the number of permits available.

Therefore, criteria will be applied to permit applications to determine which applications will receive a permit. The guide provides details on how this process will work for annual ECMT permits and any other potential permit schemes if they are oversubscribed.

The criteria are:

  • emissions level of your vehicle

  • the number of international journeys made in the last 12 months

  • the proportion of your haulage that is international

  • the goods you carry.

The permit application will therefore ask for details of your businesses’ operations and you must provide true and accurate information (which may be subject to verification).

“If it appears that the data you have provided is not consistent with other information then DVSA may undertake a closer investigation of the application and supporting records,” the guide warns.

An element of random selection is included in the process to give permits to a larger number of operators, including small and medium-sized firms.

However, this aspect has been condemned by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) with its Chief Executive, Richard Burnett, saying that livelihoods may depend on what is, in effect, a lottery system for permits.