What will a Brexit ‘No Deal’ mean for the Road Haulage Sector?

In the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit the road haulage sector will need to be aware of  how their international operations will look.

With only 5 months to go until the UK leaves the EU, the government has issued some guidelines for UK haulage companies and businesses if there isn’t a deal in place!

Community Licences, ECMT permits and Market Access

After March 2019, UK hauliers may no longer be able to rely on automatic recognition of Community Licences and therefore no longer be able to access EU markets using their Community Licence alone.  They will also need the ECMT permits, however these will be limited.  The UK will also need to reignite some old bilateral agreements as well as create some new ones!

Driving Licences

UK drivers will continue to be able to drive in EU countries however they may also require an International Driving Permit appropriate to the country they are visiting.

Trailer Registration

EU countries will require UK trailers to be registered when travelling in their country. This will mean each trailer will need to be registered with the DVLA and display their own registration plate. Trailers used solely for domestic purposes or journeys between UK and Ireland will not need to the registered.

Trailer registration will come into force regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. Watch out for more information to be published.

Certificate of Professional Competence

The UK will maintain a CPC scheme and the UK will recognise EU issued CPC documentation relating to both the transport manager CPC and driver CPC, however automatic recognition by EU countries of UK issued CPC’s will cease.

UK legislation will continue to comply with the ECMT Quality Charter and the AETR which means UK drivers will be able to operate in the EU when driving trucks covered by the ECMT permit, or any existing, reinstated or new arrangement without the need of an additional qualification.

If, however UK drivers were to drive for EU operators any driver holding a UK issued CPC would also need to hold a CPC issued by an EU country.

Advice on what to do

Haulage Permits

If a Haulier requires a permit then they would need to apply to the DVSA for a ECMT permit available from November 2018. As the demand is expected to exceed supply the allocation of permits will be made on criteria as laid out in the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act 2018. Successful applicants will receive their permit at the end of 2018.  Keep an eye out for important updates on GOV.UK

Trailer Registration Requirements

Hauliers should register trailers they intend to use internationally that also fall within the scope of the regulations. DVLA will put a system in place to register trailers in preparation for when trailers need to display their plates before March 2019.  Further details on the process will be made available on GOV.UK

Driver CPC

Little will change in practice regarding how UK drivers can obtain their CPC qualification as there are no immediate plans to change any of the standards that drivers have to meet therefore existing CPC qualifications will continue to be valid.

If the UK CPC is not recognised in the future by the EU UK drivers wishing to work for an EU operator may need to acquire a new CPC qualification issued by the EU country.

Hauliers with a UK CPC who wish to swap to an EU CPC can exchange their CPC before March 2019. They would need to do this to the relevant body in the EU country they wish to issue the CPC.

Borders and Traffic Management

It is likely there will be delays at EU ports if the UK leave without a deal. Hauliers should consider contingency plans which may include looking at alternative routes, alternative modes of transport i.e. containerisation or unaccompanied trailers and making provision for appropriate arrangements to allow for disruption and delays. The UK will look to implement contingency arrangements to manage the flow of traffic across the UK. Keep a look out for updates on GOV.UK.