Road Haulage (NI Brexit)

UPDATE : the EU Council has now agreed its position on basic road connectivity – here.

There is uncertainty in the haulage industry about what will happen at EU borders if the UK leaves without a Brexit deal next month.

Back in November, the UK Government issued guidance to UK hauliers stating that they “might need ECMT permits to transport goods in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA)” if there is no deal by 29 March.

The European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits can be used in a list of 43 countries which have signed up to the international arrangement.

The deadline for 2019 applications expired on 18 January 2019 and on Saturday night, many hauliers were informed on whether or not they were successful. I posted earlier about the deadline.

ECMT permits were over-subscribed and allocated on a points-based system, with higher scores awarded to firms who make a larger number of journeys into EU member states.

It would appear the Department for Transport (DfT) did not take into account journeys to the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland operators, whereas English, Scottish or Welsh hauliers were credited with their journeys to the Republic of Ireland.

Just over 1,200 permits were available for the UK as a whole and it is likely only 60-70 were made available to Northern Ireland firms.

In its guidance issued last year, the Government said it expected that Northern Ireland hauliers “will not need an ECMT permit” to drive to or through the Republic of Ireland.

It stated it would not require Republic of Ireland hauliers to have ECMT permits to operate in Northern Ireland.

It added that the UK was seeking a reciprocal agreement from the Irish government to allow Northern Ireland hauliers to travel across the Irish border without a permit.

I posted earlier that the European Commission (in its Contingency Plan) has proposed legislation that would allow UK hauliers basic rights (on a reciprocal basis) to conduct operations to, from and through the EU for a limited period of nine months after exit, if there is no deal.

“The Commission’s proposal will need to be agreed by the Council and European Parliament, and is being considered by both institutions urgently.” (UK Transport Minister, by statement last week)

The minister said he laid legislation before Parliament last week to provide for that access. [this will be included in the Brexit Law List, added to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists]

Border changes : partnership pack (UK Brexit)

In a major update and bringing together of already issued instructions, the new Partnership Pack (borders) is now issued. Here

Please note the Hauliers sections, and the sections for Specialist Traders.

Note : I already posted about bi laterals in place to continue existing transboundary waste movement contracts. But note the further work that needs to be done in this area.

Commercial Driving in the EU – further instruction (UK Brexit)

I posted recently with the UK Department for Transport (DfT) notice about International Road Haulage in the Brexit Preparedness context.

On Monday last (5th November) DfT issued its instruction on the allocation of the very limited number of ECMT permits that will be made available. Note: applications open shortly.

This ECMT permit allocation instruction and what hauliers must do next is here.

For 2019 only 984 annual permits for Euro VI emission vehicles, 2,592 monthly permits for Euro VI emission vehicles, and 240 monthly permits for Euro V or VI emission vehicles will be available. Annual permits will cover all journeys made using the permit between 1 January and 31 December 2019. Monthly permits will be valid for all journeys within 30 days of the start date listed on the permit.

Commercial Driving in the EU (UK Brexit Preparedness)

Today the UK Government published instructions on the actions commercial drivers must take (in the event of No Deal and no bilateral arrangements) in order to drive in the EU27 bloc after Brexit. This information is here.

The contents of any future EU-UK trade deal (or bilateral arrangements) may affect these instructions, so it’s essential to keep watching for updates (the information link in the first paragraph of this Blog post identifies ways to stay updated).

[A] Community licences and ECMT permits

Currently, UK lorry drivers carrying out international journeys must have a standard international operator’s licence along with a community licence for journeys to, from or through the EU and EEA.

Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans) and drivers operating on own account (carrying their own goods) do not need an international operator’s licence or Driver CPC.

ECMT permits will enable UK operators to drive in the EU and EEA (except Cyprus) if UK issued community licences are not recognised. ECMT permits are also recognised in 15 other countries.

Operators with a Northern Ireland operator’s licence will not be required to obtain an ECMT permit for a journey to the Republic of Ireland. Operators with a Great Britain operator’s licence should apply for an ECMT permit if they plan to drive in the Republic of Ireland from 29 March 2019.

Only limited numbers of ECMT permits will be available. Application will be online for ECMT permits from 26 November to 21 December 2018.

To apply for ECMT permits, a vehicle operator licence online account is required.

[B] Trailer registration (UK Brexit law)

From 28 March 2019, commercial trailers over 750kg and all trailers over 3,500kg must be registered before they can travel through countries that have ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

This includes countries in the EU, EEA and Europe (listed in the Government Information, see link in the first paragraph of this Blog post).

Trailer registration is not required for trailers that are only used in the UK or only used for journeys between the UK and Ireland.

More details are in the Government Information, see link in the first paragraph of this Blog post).

More Technical Notices (UK Brexit Preparedness)

The UK has today issued further Brexit Preparedness Notices. The existing online location is updated – here.

Please note particularly :

(1) CE marking – in the “Labelling products and making them safe” group

(2) Driving

(3) BAT standards – in the “Protecting the environment” group

(4) F-gases and ODS – in the “Protecting the environment” group

(5) The three Notices in the “Travelling between the UK and the EU” group

(6) Oil and gas activities – in the “Regulating energy” group

(7) European Works Councils in the “Workplace rights” group (already issued)

Any questions, please email me.

Carriage of Dangerous Goods (UK Brexit Preparedness)

The UK government is now consulting on new 2018 CDG Regulations (applicable in Britain) that will be brought forward to amend the CDG 2009 (the 2009 dated CDG Regulations that were amended in 2011) : the document is here

(separate amending regulations will be brought forward in Northern Ireland)

(1) to remove deficiencies arising from the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), including textual amendments to definitions and requirements that are currently predicated on the UK being a Member State of the EU. The In-force day is the day that the UK exits the EU (“exit day”).

The amendments will maintain the dangerous goods regulatory framework and the international process behind it as it is today, including the GB Competent Authority’s power to grant authorisations and implement derogations. Those involved in the carriage of dangerous goods will continue to be required to follow the requirements of RID (for rail) and ADR (for road), in the same way as before EU exit.

The amendments are purely technical. They primarily amend definitions and requirements that are currently predicated on the UK being a Member State of the EU. For example, references to the UK being a “relevant Member State” are replaced with references to “relevant territory”. Textual amendments to CDG 2009 also make it clear that references to ADR and RID will continue to be to the latest versions of those documents, whereas references to the DG Directive and the Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (2010/35/EU) will be to the versions of those Directives in force upon exit day. These new regulations will be cited as the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018.

(2) to gather input for future changes – flexibility will continue on how dangerous goods regulation is implemented in the future, the UK government is seeking input on this.

In addition, the legal requirement for vapour recovery systems to be installed on mobile tanks is reinstated.

The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 mistakenly revoked regulation 5 of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations 1996 in its entirety. This regulation referenced, amongst other documents, the Approved Tank Requirements published by the Health and Safety Commission. These included the requirements for the design and construction of tanks in respect of the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Whilst the references to other documents were no longer required, the reference to the Approved Tank Requirements was.

This mistake is being rectified in a separate Statutory Instrument by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. It is entitled [Radioactive Substances], [Transport] of Radioactive Material (Radiation Emergencies) Regulations 2018. Those Regulations will contain a reference to the Approved Tank Requirements concerning the provisions for vapour recovery systems of mobile containers carrying petrol.