In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK freight transport companies operating in the EU will require a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit, as highlighted recently (see How to get your lorry permits).

Applications are now being accepted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) — but they must be made by 11:59 pm on Sunday 21 December 2018.

The number of permits available to British operators is limited to just 984 for 2019, so the Department for Transport (DfT) is urging companies to get their applications in as soon as possible.

It is, however, not worth applying unless your fleet comprises Euro VI vehicles, as they are the only type eligible for permits.

Although the Government remains adamant that a no-deal Brexit is not envisaged, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says that UK businesses should still prepare for that outcome.

While the Association is relieved to see progress in the Brexit negotiations regarding the withdrawal agreement, until a deal is ratified, nothing is certain, the FTA’s Sarah Laouadi pointed out, and businesses should continue their contingency planning in case a no-deal exit occurs.

Acknowledging that the number of ECMT permits available to British operators is painfully short of the required total, Ms Laouadi said that the FTA is continuing to plead with the Government to avoid a disorderly departure that risks the UK grinding to a halt.

“Parliament must now support the draft agreement to secure the transition period and give negotiators more time to devise a transport solution that would remove the need for ECMT permits,” she concluded.

Further information about ECMT permits, including how to apply for one and which countries are covered, can be found at GOV.UK website.

Last reviewed 4 December 2018