No-deal Brexit Planning information for UK Hauliers

The Department of Transport has recently published a series of technical notices which outline plans that will be put into place if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
This information demonstrates the potential impact that a no-deal Brexit may have on areas of the transport policy.

The Government has stated that it remains confident that the UK will continue its strong partnership with the EU following Brexit and a mutually advantageous deal with the EU will be the most likely outcome.

However, the Department of Transport is putting in place contingency measures to ensure business and tourists can continue to travel and trade with the EU post-Brexit.

Given the current uncertainty surrounding Brexit, haulage firms may wish to review and plan for a no deal Brexit, including preparing for future pemitting and trailer registration rights, and ensuring that drivers hold the correct documentation for their journeys.

Currently, UK hauliers carrying out international journeys must hold a Standard International Operator’s Licence as well as a Community Licence for journeys through the EU. The Community Licence gives UK hauliers access to unlimited international journeys.

There is also a wider European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit that allows UK hauliers to carry goods to or through 43 countries. There is a limit number of these permits available to  UK hauliers.

Professional drivers are currently required to hold a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). CPCs are currently recognised across the EU and allow drivers to operate without the need of an additional qualification.

However, this could all change if after March 2019 there is a no deal Brexit.

Community Licences, ECMT and Market Access

In the unlikely event of a no deal Brexit, UK hauliers can no longer rely on automatic recognition by the UK of UK-licenced Community Licences. The result of this will be that UK hauliers no longer being able to access EU markets with just their Community Licences. This would also end the ability of UK hauliers to perform cabotage.

EU countries could decide that UK-issued operator licences and associated authorisations are based on the same standards as EU Community Licences and may not require further authorisations. However, if this is not decided, UK hauliers will be able to use ECMT permits if there is a no-deal Brexit.

ECMT permits will be available in limited numbers to enable journeys to the EU.

With regards to driving licences, whilst UK drivers will be able to drive in EU countries post Brexit, International Driving Permits may be required for the countries to be visited.

Certificate of Professional Competence

The UK will keep its CPC scheme and any CPC documentation that has been issued in the EU will continue to be recognised in the UK. If there is no-deal, automatic recognition by EU countries of UK-issued CPCs will cease. As with the Community licenses, EU countries may continue to recognise UK-issued CPCs but this is not guaranteed.

Trailer Registration

UK trailers will need to be registered in EU countries post March 2019 regardless of the outcomes of the Brexit negotiations.

Actions for Haulage Firms

  • Consider if you need haulage permits to carry goods internationally. New systems are being developed by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency to allocate permits required from March 2019, and the application process should open from November 2018.
  • Prepare contingency plans – It is expected that demand for ECMT permits will outstrip supply. Hauliers need to consider how many permits they require, and if they are not allocated the number of permits they applied for, how they will move goods. This may require looking at alternative routes and/or modes of transport.
  • Register trailers that are to be used internationally by 28 March 2019.
  • Be aware of potential new requirements at borders and ports. These could create delays and affect routes. These in turn could have knock on effects on haulage costs and work schedules.

For more information on the plans for commercial road haulage in the EU if there is a no-deal Brexit including advice on what you would need to do in the event of a no-Brexit deal; read the full report here:





More from our transport and logistics experts

You can find all of our latest transport and logistics sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.