As the transition period after Brexit comes to an end, new regulations are set to come into effect for hauliers who operate in the EU
HaulTech have compiled all the information you need as a fleet operator to make sure you are ready for the end of the Brexit transition period in January 2021 and the implications it may have on your operations.
Changes to the operating licences needed to operate in Europe will happen automatically as the UK transitions from the ‘Community Licence’ to the ‘UK Licence for the Community’. Standard international licences are still required as before.
Updates on the implications of Brexit are happening regularly and can be found by clicking here.
Getting the right permits
From January, you might be required to carry an European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit for journeys to and from EU countries. The permits are only available for Euro V or Euro VI vehicles operated by organisations with an operator licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland. You may need an ECMT to transport most goods or if you are driving an empty vehicle through the EU (except Cyprus), Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK to these 13 countries:
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
The government advices you should apply for these permits in case they are needed. Short-term permits are available for £10 whereas an annual permit costs £123. You can find out more about the permits and how to apply for them by clicking here.
Registering your trailers and abnormal load trailers
If you are driving a commercial trailer weighing over 750kg or a non-commercial trailer weighing over 3,500kg and plan on driving through or to most EU countries, Iceland Liechtenstein or Norway then you need to register your trailer. Registration is open now.
For operators transporting abnormal load trailers, countries in the EU can measure these loads differently to the UK, therefore you need to check what counts as an abnormal load in every country you will be travelling through. You will need a keeper’s certificate to use an abnormal load trailer abroad. The certificate will need to be kept in the vehicle to show at border crossings.
All fees, necessary information and registering your trailer can be found by clicking here.
Vehicle registration documents
Drivers will need to carry the vehicles registration documents with them if they are driving abroad for less than 12 months. You must carry either the vehicle logbook (V5C) or a VE103 to show you are allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad.
A VE103 is available from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), Freight Transport Association (FTA), RAC Motoring Services or the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
Check a HGV is ready to cross the border
In order to avoid a £300 fine, you will need to use the ‘check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service. This will provide the proof that your vehicle has the correct EU import and commodities documentation. The service is mandatory for hauliers travelling via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel. In order to obtain a ‘Kent Access Permit’, which is required before entering Kent, this service must be used. If you do not use the service when you travel via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel or if you provide a fraudulent declaration, you may be fined.
The service will be optional in other ports and will be fully operational by December 2020.
Your vehicles and trailers will also need to display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the rear. This is necessary even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol of GB national identifier.
Vehicle and trailer insurance and what to do if you are involved in a road accident
Each fleet operator will need to have a ‘green card’ for each vehicle they own. The ‘green card’ acts as proof of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. The government recommends contacting your insurance companies at least 6 weeks in advance of travel to ensure you have the relevant green cards.
Drivers will need to make sure they are carrying a green card and may require multiple cards if they are towing a trailer, as separate trailer insurance is needed in other countries, or the policy may expire half way through your journey.
From January 2021, any incidents that involve your vehicles will need to be handled in the country where the accident happened. This may result in you needing to make the claim in the local language. Compensation may also be withheld if the driver involved is uninsured or cannot be traced.