Reprieve for International Operators as Brexit postponed again…. Hauliers ask “what happens next?”

I am sure everybody is now just a little fed up with hearing about Brexit but have you sat down and thought about the consequences it will have not only on us as individuals but on our businesses… every business will be affected in some way or another, whether good or bad, so I am taking this opportunity to give you an insight of how in the interim it will affect the Haulage Business..

Mrs May’s decision to seek a further Article 50 extension, suggests that a ‘softer’ Brexit is now likely – which will come as a relief to some in the road transport sector concerned about the operational impact of a ‘cliff-edge’ departure.

Brexit Haulage UK

Meanwhile, the road ahead for international hauliers is looking slightly less precarious, at least until the end of this year. The government has confirmed that, even if the UK were to exit the EU with no deal, UK hauliers would be able to continue to use their existing EU Community Licences until 31 December 2019 to operate within the EU without requiring additional permits.

However the rules on cabotage and cross-trade would change from the day of Brexit and new limits to these activities would apply. According to current agreements, operators would be allowed to carry out two cabotage or cross-trade journeys within seven days of making an international journey until 31 December 2019.

Trucks must return to the UK (either laden or unladen) after completing cabotage or cross-trade, and after 31 December, no cabotage or cross-trade journeys will be allowed.

However, it is possible that the no-deal contingency arrangements will themselves be extended as the next deadline approaches.

Under the contingency arrangements, hauliers will not be allowed to drive through the EU and EEA to a third country, for example, driving through France to get to Switzerland, without an ECMT permit.

If you apply for a new international operator licence or renew your licence from April 2019, you will get a ‘UK Licence for the Community’ instead of an EU Community Licence – this will work in the same way as the EU Community Licence and allow you to do the same journeys a Community Licence allows, with the same rules. Therefore you do not need to exchange EU Community Licences for UK Licences for the Community.”

The DfT further clarified: “If there is no deal, you can use your Community Licence for journeys to and from Ireland, journeys through Ireland to other EU or EEA countries, or journeys through Ireland between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In addition: The UK has signed transport agreements with Switzerland and Norway. The agreements ensure that UK hauliers can continue to drive in Switzerland and Norway using a Community Licence after the UK leaves the EU.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, an ECMT permit will be required for journeys through EU or EEA countries to Switzerland.

The reciprocity of the contingency arrangements means that EU hauliers would also continue to be able to move goods in the UK – This includes journeys to and from the UK, through the UK and cabotage within the UK.

EU hauliers’ Community Licences and CPC documents will be recognised. EU hauliers will not require ECMT permits to operate in the UK.

However, DfT warned that the EU may not recognise UK-issued Driver CPC qualifications after Brexit, so if you have a UK Driver CPC, and are currently working or planning to work for an EU company, you may want to exchange your UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC before the UK leaves the EU, you can do this by applying to the relevant body in an EU or EEA country.

Meanwhile, the government’s trailer registration scheme is now open and requires commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg to be registered before they can be towed to or through most EU and EEA countries, a separate Green Card may also be required as proof of trailer insurance if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019.

Lastly if you take an abnormal load trailer outside the UK you must apply for a keeper’s certificate and this must be kept in your vehicle when travelling abroad.

So all in all this is still a bit of a minefield and changeable at any time!!

If you need help or advise on this or any other transport related matter just pick up the phone and call Sussex Transport, we will be more than happy to help and advise in any way we can.

Call us now on 0800 915 23 23 or fill in one of our contact forms.

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