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The latest advice on licences and permits for hauliers

The latest advice on licences and permits for hauliers

11 February 2021

The Government has updated its advice on licences and permits. Hauliers who operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 3.5 tonnes on international journeys need several licences and permits.

From the Government website:

You must have a vehicle operator licence to carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, both in the UK and on international journeys.

The other licences and permits you need depend on which countries the vehicle will travel to or through.

EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

You need a UK Licence for the Community if you make international journeys for hire or reward within the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You can use the licences in:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

The UK Licence for the Community also allows you to carry out a limited number of haulage jobs inside an EU country (called ‘cabotage’) or between 2 EU countries (called ‘cross-trade’).

You need to get a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit if you want to carry out 3 cross-trade jobs in the EU.

Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine

You do not usually need any permits to transport goods to, through or from Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

However, you need to get a bilateral road haulage permit if you’re travelling:

  • through Turkey to another country
  • in Ukraine using a Euro III or Euro IV vehicle
  • Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia or Tunisia

You can apply for bilateral road haulage permits for some non-EU countries the UK has agreements with. These countries are:

Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia or Tunisia

Armenia, Azerbaijan or Bosnia and Herzegovina

You must get a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) international road haulage permit if your journey involves Armenia, Azerbaijan or Bosnia and Herzegovina.

If your journey also includes Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey or Ukraine, you do not need to apply for separate bilateral permits for those countries. You can use the ECMT permit instead.

Countries the UK does not have arrangements with

You need to apply for licences from countries that the UK does not have a special arrangement or agreement with.

Get advice from the embassies of the countries you need to travel through or to.

Permits to carry out 3 cross-trade jobs in ECMT countries

You can use ECMT permits to carry out up to 3 cross-trade jobs (moving goods between 2 ECMT countries).

Permits to carry goods for your own business or not for hire and reward (‘own account’)

‘Own account’ is where either:

  • your vehicle is only carrying goods in connection with your own business
  • your delivery contents are not for hire or reward

Own account journeys in the EU

You do not need a UK Licence for the Community for own account journeys between the UK and EU if the following conditions apply:

  • the goods you’re carrying are your property, or have been sold, bought, let out on hire or hired, produced, extracted, processed or repaired by you
  • the journey’s purpose is to carry the goods to or from your premises or to move them for your own requirements
  • you employ the drivers, or they’re put at your disposal for your own requirements
  • you either own the vehicles carrying the goods, have bought them on deferred terms, or have hired them
  • transporting the goods is only to support your main business activity - transporting goods cannot be your main business activity

Extra documents for Cyprus or Hungary

For own account journeys between the UK and Cyprus or Hungary, you must carry documents in the vehicle that show:

  • the name and address of the operator
  • the operator’s trade or business
  • the nature of the goods being carried
  • loading and unloading points
  • registration number of the vehicle being used
  • the route the haulage takes

You may be asked to provide evidence of the ownership of the goods.

Own account journeys in non-EU countries

You must have a bilateral international road haulage permit for own account journeys to some non-EU countries the UK has agreements with.

Check which non-EU countries you need the permits for.

Permits for specialist removal companies

You can apply for a permit for laden or empty journeys if you’re a specialist removal company and you move household goods and business possessions between or across the 43 ECMT countries:

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.

Where can hauliers get more advice?

For more information on how to apply for international removal permits and the rules you must follow, or to get help with international road haulage permits, contact the DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office.

irhp@dvsa.gov.uk Telephone: 0330 678 1117 Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm Friday, 9am to 4:30pmThe latest advice on licences and permits for hauliers

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