This will include transport through Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

There are number of regulations that haulage firms will need to consider from 1 January 2021. They will include:

  1. Carry the correct operator license

The Community Licence will be phased out and replaced with a UK Licence for the Community. The new licence and certified copies will be issued automatically and must be carried when driving abroad. You will still need a  standard international operator licence.

  1. Obtain the right permits

You may need an ECMT or other additional permits for international journeys to and through EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  1. Register vehicle trailers

You must register these types of trailers before you drive to or through most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway: commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg.

  1. Abnormal load trailers

You now need a keeper’s certificate for an abnormal load trailer to use it abroad. Keep the certificate in the vehicle to show at border crossings.Some countries measure abnormal loads differently from the UK. Check with each country you are travelling through to find out if the load you are transporting counts as abnormal.

  1. Vehicle Registration Documents

Your drivers will need to carry your vehicle registration documents when driving abroad for less than 12 months. This can be either: the vehicle log book (V5C), if you have one and a VE103 to show you’re allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad.

  1. Check an HGV is ready to cross the border

You will be able to use the ‘check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service to prove that an HGV has the right EU import and commodities documents for the goods it’s carrying before it crosses the GB / EU border. You must use this service for HGVs travelling via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel to get a ‘Kent Access Permit’ before they enter Kent. You can be fined £300 if you do not use the service when you travel via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, or if you provide a fraudulent declaration. It will be optional to use the service for all other GB ports. The service will be fully operational by December 2020.

  1. Display GB Sticker

Display a GB sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailer even if you have a number plate with the EU or GB identifier. This is not required to drive in Ireland.

  1. Insurance

A ‘green card’ is proof of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Your drivers should plan to carry one for the vehicle they are driving in the EU and EEA from 1 January 2021. Your drivers will need to carry multiple green cards if:

  • you have fleet insurance – you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
  • their vehicle is towing a trailer – they will need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer (separate trailer insurance is needed in some countries)
  • there are 2 policies covering the duration of the trip, for example, if the policy renews during the journey

Contact your vehicle insurance provider at least 6 weeks before you need green cards.

In Conclusion

Clearly, haulage firms will be actively involved in the transport of goods to and from or through the EU from 1 January 2021. The above notes are a brief summary of the guidance published on the GOV.UK website and may not be conclusive. Hauliers would be wise to consult with their industry organisations to ensure they are not disadvantaged by the new year changes.

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