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).

Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill 2017-19 (UK)

I posted earlier about the EU Brexit Notice on haulage, which gave notice that UK vehicle registrations and driving licences would not be valid in the EU after 00:00 30 March 2019 (subject to any transition period or Trade Deal).

The UK Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill is a new UK Brexit Bill (not signalled in the Queens Speech) that had its First Reading in the House of Lords on 7th February 2018. The Bill is here. The Explanatory Notes are here.

The UK has now decided, irrespective, it will ratify the international 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (which it had not ratified hitherto).

The Bill provides the UK Secretary of State with the powers to introduce administrative systems for haulage permits, which may be needed once the UK has left the EU, and a trailer registration scheme, which will be required following the UK’s ratification of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

The Secretary of State will be able to make regulations prohibiting the use of a goods vehicle registered in the UK on an international journey specified in the regulations without a permit, where such permits are provided for in an international agreement. The regulations will also set out the administrative procedures for the allocation and granting of permits, including the number of permits available, the application process, the criteria to be taken into account in determining the issue of permits, and provisions for cancelling permits. Regulations will also allow the Secretary of State to establish an appeals process for the cancellation of a permit. The Bill sets out enforcement provisions, including powers for examiners to require the production of permits and offences for breaching regulations or failing to produce a permit for inspection. The Bill also includes a power to charge fees for the application for, and the issue of, a permit.

The Bill also makes provision for the Secretary of State to establish a trailer registration scheme, in view of the provisions of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, to ensure that trailers can be registered before entering international traffic. The scope of the scheme will be set out in regulations made under Part 2. Mandatory registration will apply only to commercial trailers (in practice almost exclusively HGV trailers) and the largest non-commercial trailers that enter international traffic. Smaller, common non-commercial trailers, such as caravans and horse trailers, may be registered by their keepers if they wish.

Again, registration is a necessary pre-cursor to travel abroad. The UK will ratify the 1968 Convention in order to support UK vehicle transport abroad. Where the outcome of negotiations with the EU mean that existing EU Licence arrangements will no longer apply after the UK’s exit from the EU, the Bill provides the Secretary of State with the powers to set up and enforce any alternative arrangements that may be agreed internationally, enabling the continued movement of goods to and from the EU by UK hauliers. A consequence of ratification is that unregistered trailers could be turned away at the borders of other countries who have ratified the 1968 Convention. Therefore, for operational reasons, a trailer registration scheme needs to be implemented.

The Bill (once enacted) will repeal the International Road Haulage Permits Act 1975 and make new provisions. It will also amend other legislation such as the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 and the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001, and makes consequential amendments to legislation in Northern Ireland.

Please read the linked explanatory notes carefully. I will Blog post separately when the UK creates the Convention ratifying instrument.

UK exits the EU (road transport haulage)

UPDATE : the (UK) Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill is now published – see separate Blog post.

UPDATE : the (UK) Road Haulage and Truckers Bill (not published) is a possible UK Department of Transport preparation.

I posted earlier about various European Commission (and others) Notices to Operators in particular fields.

On 11th December 2017, the European Commission issued a Notice to Operators that are subject to European Union legislation in the field of road transport. This Notice is here.

The Notice reminds that from the Withdrawal date (subject to any transitional arrangements that may be contained in a possible Withdrawal Agreement), the EU rules in the field of road transport will no longer apply to the UK. This has a number particular consequences : set out below is the first set of these – please read the Notice itself for the other elements (essentially as a third country, permit would be needed) –

(1) CERTIFICATES, LICENCES AND ATTESTATIONS

Certificate of professional competence for road transport operators/transport managers: According to Articles 3(1)(d), 4(1) and 8 of European Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009, persons engaged in the occupation of road transport operator in the EU and transport managers employed by an undertaking engaged in the occupation of road transport operator must hold a certificate of professional competence issued by authorities of a EU Member State or by bodies duly authorised by a EU Member State for that purpose. As of the withdrawal date, certificates of professional competence issued by an authority of the United Kingdom or a body authorised by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU-27.

Driver attestation for third-country drivers: According to Article 3 of European Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009, international carriage shall be subject to a European Community licence and, when the driver is a national of a third country, in conjunction with a driver attestation.

Thus, as of the withdrawal date, drivers who are United Kingdom nationals and do not constitute long-term residents in the Union, within the meaning of European Directive 2003/109/EC, and who work for a Union haulier holding a Community licence require a driver attestation. In accordance with Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1072/20096, this driver attestation shall be issued by the competent authorities of the Member State of establishment of the haulier holding a Community licence for each driver who is neither a national nor a long-term resident within the meaning of Council Directive 2003/109/EC7 whom that haulier lawfully employs or who is put at his disposal.

Certificate of professional competence for drivers: In accordance with Directive 2003/59/EC8, drivers in the Union of a vehicle intended for the carriage of goods or for the carriage of passengers need to hold a certificate of professional competence certifying the initial qualification or periodic training and issued by competent authorities of an EU Member State or by an approved training centre in an EU Member State. Drivers who are nationals of an EU Member State obtain their initial qualification in the EU Member State of their normal residence while drivers who are nationals of third countries do this in the EU Member State which issued a work permit to them. As of the withdrawal date, certificates of professional competence issued by the United Kingdom or by an approved training centre in the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU27.

As of the withdrawal date, drivers who are nationals of the United Kingdom but employed by an undertaking established in the Union or Union nationals resident in the United Kingdom but employed by an undertaking established in the Union will have to follow the professional drivers training in the EU Member State where the undertaking employing them is established.

Driving licence: According to Article 2 of European Directive 2006/126/EC9 driving licences issued by Member States of the Union are mutually recognised. As of the withdrawal date, a driving licence issued by the United Kingdom is no longer recognised by the Member States on the basis of this legislation.

The recognition of driving licences issued by third countries is not addressed in Union law but regulated at Member States level. In Member States which are Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, this Convention applies.

Please read the other elements of this Notice.