Last reviewed 18 December 2020

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a reminder for hauliers who will be moving goods to the EU from the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020.

“With or without a free trade agreement (FTA)”, it explains, “we will be leaving the customs union and single market. Customs declarations will need to be made and hauliers will be expected to carry the right documents to get across the border.”

Haulage companies are warned that their customers, those whose goods they are moving, must take the right actions and give the operator and its drivers the right paperwork.

“If not,” HMRC points out, “it will be your company and your staff who suffer as a result of traders’ lack of preparation.”

Hauliers therefore need to ensure that they comply with the following lists.

Every vehicle will need

  • Motor Insurance Green Card(s); and

  • A GB Sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailers if the company is GB based (even if the number plate includes the GB identifier under the EU logo).

Plus, from the firm’s customers:

  • A Movement Reference Number (MRN) for standard customs procedures;

  • A Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) for goods moving under transit;

  • A Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet, or a Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Carnet to goods moving using these customs processes; and

  • Additional paperwork, for example an Export Health Certificate or Catch Certificate, for plant, animal or restricted goods.

“Your customer will also need to make an Entry Summary Declaration (safety and security declaration) into the Import Control System (ICS) of the EU country you are travelling to,” HMRC points out.

Every driver will need

  • A driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC);

  • A passport;

  • An operator licence and UK Licence for the Community; and

  • A driving licence, and potentially an International Driving Permit for some EU countries.

On Thursday 10 December, the EU published a proposed temporary contingency measure which would, if a free trade agreement (FTA) is not concluded, allow UK hauliers to continue to perform some journeys to and from the EU without the need for any permits.

If approved, the Commission’s proposal allows UK hauliers the right to perform journeys to and from destinations in the EU for six months — until 30 June.

It would also allow UK hauliers to transit the Republic of Ireland on journeys to and from Northern Ireland, but it would not provide transit to third countries, cabotage or cross-trade.

All hauliers who applied for ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) permits for 2021 have received a response and have until 23 December to decide whether they wish to take those permits up.

Lord Agnew, Minister of State at the Treasury and Cabinet Office, said: “Your business will take the brunt of a lack of preparedness by your customers. This could be in the form of delays or entirely wasted journeys if your consignments are rejected. I urge you to be clear with your customers that they must equip you with accurately and fully completed information to ensure smooth passage.”