Get prepared for change from 1 January 2021. Hauliers and commercial drivers will need to take action to get ready for BREXIT. You are still required to carry your UK driving licence and you may also need an international driving permit (IDP).
So, what do we know about how leaving the EU will affect commercial vehicle drivers?
Although Trade Agreements are ongoing, the following is confirmed:
Operator licensing requirements for journeys to, through or from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will change.
- A UK Licence for the Community will replace the existing Community Licence. The new licence and certified copies will be issued automatically and must be carried when driving abroad.
- A standard international operator licence is still required.
The correct permits
- From 1 January 2021, permits to travel through European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) member countries may be required.
- You can no longer apply for ECMT permits for 2021. Applications closed on Friday 20 November 2020. However, you can find out more information here
What about trailers?
Register your trailers
You must register the following types of trailers before you drive to or through most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway:
- Commercial trailers weighing over 750kg
- Non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg
Find out more information on registering your trailers here
Abnormal load trailers
You now need a keeper’s certificate for an abnormal load trailer to use it abroad, and the certificate must be kept in the vehicle to present at border crossings.
You need to check with each country you are travelling through to find out if the load you’re transporting counts as abnormal, as some countries measure them differently from the UK.
What vehicle registration documents will you need?
Vehicle registration documents must be carried by drivers when driving abroad for less than 12 months. This can be either:
How can you check an HGV is ready to cross the border?
There will be a handy ‘check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service, which will be fully operational in December 2020. It will confirm that an HGV has the right EU import and commodities documents for the goods it’s carrying before it crosses the GB / EU border.
Important! £300 fines can be issued if this service is not used by HGVs travelling via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel to get a ‘Kent Access Permit’ before they enter Kent. It will be optional to use the service for all other GB ports.
Do you need to display GB stickers on your vehicle?
You will need to display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier. You do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland.
What about vehicle and trailer insurance?
Drivers need to carry a green card for the vehicle they’re driving in the EU and EEA, and will need to carry multiple green cards if:
- You have fleet insurance - a green card is required for each vehicle
- The vehicle is towing a trailer - one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer
- There are 2 policies covering the duration of the trip, for example, if the policy renews during the journey
Find out more about vehicle insurance here.
Will you require a visa?
You will not need a visa for short trips. You can stay for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
What if you’re involved in a road traffic accident?
If you are involved in an accident, from 1 January 2021 any legal proceedings against both the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle will need to be carried out in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened, which may mean making a claim in the local language. You may not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.
In the event of a road accident in an EU country drivers should in the first instance contact their insurer.
Discover what you and your drivers need to do to drive professionally in the EU from 1 January 2021 now.
Keep looking ahead - Check and prepare for changes and act now. For more information on any of the topics covered above visit www.gov.uk/transition-haulage
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