Hauliers and commercial drivers will need the correct documentation to travel to, from or through the EU. With Brexit fast approaching, what documentation will you now need?
A driver should not attempt to cross the UK EU border in either direction without all required customs paperwork for all shipments carried. Drivers moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland will face different custom procedures compared to other UK-EU trade. Separate Brexit advice will be issued for haulier and commercial drivers completing journeys between UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Community Licence and Licence for the Community
The EU has agreed that for a transitional period UK hauliers will be able to continue using their current licences to do journeys to and from the EU. This will apply until 31 July 2020. A copy of the Community Licence (or the new ‘UK Licence for the Community’) has to be carried on board all vehicles when working in the EU. Some ‘cross-trade’ (movements between two EU countries) and ‘cabotage’ (movements within an EU country) will be permitted in the transitional period. For the first 4 months after exit at least up to 2 loaded cabotage or cross- trade journeys will be possible per week.
Some journeys made during the transition period will require an ECMT permit. In particular, hauliers will need an ECMT permit if they:
- wish to transit the EU to non-EU countries such as Switzerland
- intend to do three cross-trade journeys (hauling goods from one EU country to another) during a single trip to the EU
ECMT permits are only valid when accompanied by:
- an ECMT logbook (issued with the permit)
- certificates of compliance and roadworthiness relevant to the vehicle being used
Trailer registration plates and papers
All commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg need to be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) before travelling abroad.
The keeper of the trailer will need to ensure that the:
- trailer displays registration plates
- driver carries DVLA trailer registration papers
Hauliers do not need to register trailers that are only used for journeys between the UK and Ireland.
Drivers will need to carry the following documents in the vehicle when driving abroad:
- a vehicle log book (V5C) or a vehicle on hire certificate (VE103) to use a hired or leased vehicle
- a GB sticker fixed to the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the number plates includes the GB identifier
- a motor insurance Green Card
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
Drivers with current UK Driver CPC working for UK hauliers do not need to take any additional action to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. UK CPC will continue to be valid for drivers of all journeys that UK operators are entitled to undertake, whether under the transitional arrangements agreed with the EU or on the basis of ECMT permits. Drivers need to carry their CPC driver qualification card while driving in the EU.
- UK drivers who are working for UK operators will need a Driver CPC in order to work. Those driving vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans), do not need to hold a Driver CPC in order to work.
- UK drivers who work for, or plan to work for an EU company (e.g. a UK driver working for French or Irish hauliers) should take action. This is because in a no-deal Brexit UK-issued CPC will no longer be recognised as a valid qualification by EU employers.
- UK drivers working or wanting to work for EU businesses should therefore exchange their UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC before the UK leaves the EU. Apply to the relevant body in an EU or EEA country to exchange a UK Driver CPC.
UK driving licence
Drivers must have the correct category of licence for the vehicle they are driving. Drivers can check online whether they have the correct driving categories on their licence.
International driving permits
UK photocard driving licences will be recognised, without the need for an international driving permit (IDP), in 24 of the 27 EU countries.
In the remaining three countries, in addition to their photocard driving licence, a driver will need a:
- 1968 IDP to drive in France and Italy
- 1949 IDP to drive in Cyprus
If a driver does not have a photocard licence, they may need additional IDPs.
Drivers who already have IDPs should check that they are still valid where they intend to drive. For some countries, 1926 and 1949 IDPs may need to be replaced with a 1968 IDP. Each permit is also valid for a different length of time.
Tachograph charts or driver’s digital smart card
Drivers of goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes on international journeys must make sure they continue to comply with EU rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph use. They must be able to produce tachograph charts and any legally required manual records for the current day and the previous 28 calendar days. Drivers must also be able to produce the digital smart card if they have one.
Passports and visas
UK passport holders may need to renew their British passports earlier if they are travelling after a no-deal Brexit. On the day of travel, a driver will need the passport to have at least 6 months left to travel to countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
Any extra months on the driver’s passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed. If the current passport was renewed before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
Haulage drivers will not need a visa for short trips to the EU. A driver can stay for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
UK and EU hauliers and their drivers must secure vehicles coming into the UK to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime. If a driver does not secure a vehicle, and is found carrying clandestine entrants into the UK, the vehicle’s driver, owner or hirer can be fined up to £2,000 for each person found.
Keeping vehicles secure
For hauliers, an effective system includes:
- written instructions for drivers on how to use the system
- robust security devices to effectively secure the vehicle, load and load space
- training for drivers on how to use the system and security devices
- giving vehicle security checklists to drivers
- checking that drivers are following the instructions
If someone hides in a vehicle
If a driver suspects someone is attempting to enter their vehicle, they should contact local police as soon as it is safe to do so. In the UK call 999 or in Europe call 112.
Serviceco are here to help with the documents for permits and UK registrations for Brexit, give us a call on 0330 124 5653 today!