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Prepare To Drive In The EU After Brexit

14th December 2018

In the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, commercial drivers will need extra documentation to drive in the EU and EEA.

UK commercial drivers and haulage companies transporting goods abroad.

Community licences and ECMT permits.

Currently, UK lorry drivers carrying out international journeys must have a standard international operator’s licence along with a community licence for journeys to, from or through the EU and EEA.

Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans) and drivers operating on own account (carrying their own goods) do not need an international operator’s licence or Driver CPC.

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU exit deal, EU and EEA countries may not recognise UK issued community licences.

In those circumstances, the government is confident that it would be able to negotiate new or reinstate old bilateral agreements with EU countries to provide haulage access.

However, transport managers may wish to apply for ECMT international haulage permits for 2019. ECMT permits will enable UK operators to drive in the EU and EEA (except Cyprus) if UK issued community licences are not recognised. ECMT permits are also recognised in 15 other countries.

Particular categories of transport are exempt from ECMT permit requirements in some countries. Page 11 of the International Transport Forum’s ECMT multilateral quota user guide lists these exemptions.

Regulations were passed through Parliament in November 2018 which confirm that the UK government does not require Northern Ireland hauliers to carry permits when on international journeys to, or through Ireland. This is in keeping with our position in the Road Haulage and Trailer Registration Act that we will not introduce permits on the island of Ireland without the consent of the Government of Ireland.

Operators with a Northern Ireland operator’s licence will not be required to obtain an ECMT permit for a journey to the Republic of Ireland. Operators with a Great Britain operator’s licence should apply for an ECMT permit if they plan to drive in the Republic of Ireland from 29 March 2019.

Limited numbers of ECMT permits will be available. You can apply online for ECMT permits until 11:59pm on 21 December 2018.

To apply for ECMT permits, you will first need to have a vehicle operator licence online account. Visit the Gov.UK website

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