All the information needed for drivers following the end of the Brexit transition period
From January 1st 2021, new rules and regulations come into place due to the end of the Brexit transition period established in January 2020.
As the rules change, drivers need to be aware of the up-to-date information required to avoid any complications with their deliveries or collections within the EU and EEA countries in mainland Europe. Government guidelines and advice can be found by clicking here.
For hauliers, all the information you need to continue operating uninterrupted can be found by clicking here.
Driving licences and international driving permits for Brexit
Drivers travelling across European Union countries and the European Economic Area (EEA) will still need to carry their UK drivers license. However, from 1st January 2021 drivers may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to travel through these areas excluding Ireland. The type of IDP you may require is dependant on the countries you will be visiting. Drivers may acquire the necessary IDP from their local post office.
An IDP costs £5.50 and drivers must:
- Be a Great Britain or Northern Ireland resident
- Have a full UK driving licence
- Be aged 18 or over
Driver CPC for lorry drivers
Hauliers driving professionally in the UK, the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will need a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
Even if you operate solely in the UK, drivers will be required to complete the UK Driver CPC qualification before their deadline in order to drive in the UK. The UK qualification will allow an individual to drive through EU countries that are permitted for UK-based hauliers to make.
If you work for an EU company, or want to work for one from January 2021, you will need to exchange your qualification for an EU one. The way you do this is dependant on how the country where you live and work recognises driver CPC. Some countries:
- Use a Driver CPC card (like the UK does) – this is sometimes called a Driver Qualification Card (DQC)
- Add code 95 to the driving licence
The following countries require the Driver CPC card as proof that the drivers have the qualification:
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg (for non-resident drivers only), Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Drivers will need to apply to the relevant organisation in the country they live to exchange their driver CPC qualification. It is strongly recommend you check with the organisation how long this takes to make sure it is done for January 1st 2021.
The countries below add Code 95 to driving licenses as proof the driver have the qualification:
Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg (for resident drivers only), Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia
Drivers will have to exchange their UK driving license for a driving license in the EU country where they live and work to ensure that the Driver CPC qualification is exchanged. Drivers will need to check with the relevant organisation in their country to see if they need to take any steps and to check how long it takes to ensure it is done for January 1st 2021.
Passports and Visas
You may need to renew your British passport sooner rather than later if you are travelling from 1st January 2021. Travel to Ireland will not change from 1st January 2021 so you will be able to travel and work as usual without and changes. However, when you travel you will need you passport to:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
If your passport does not meet the above requirements and you do not renew it, you will not be able to travel to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and most EU countries.
These rules do not apply apply if you are travelling to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long it is valid for the length of your stay.
According to European Commission proposals you will not need a visa for short trips. This means you can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you are planning to stay longer or you wish to work or study you may require a visa or a permit.
Rules are still being confirmed and you will need to visit each countries travel advice page for updates information on obtaining visas.
Healthcare after Brexit
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may not be valid from the 1st January 2021. Therefore the appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover should be taken out before you go abroad. The government website contains advice on buying travel insurance with the right cover.
Preparing your vehicles, trailers and your insurance
Making sure your vehicle is prepared for any journey is essential, however with the new regulations in place, there is more to consider when taking your vehicle in Europe.
Firstly, all vehicles need to be fitted with a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the vehicle and/or trailer that is going abroad. Both hauliers and drivers also need to ensure they are carrying appropriate insurance documentation. To evidence that you have motor insurance cover when driving abroad you will need to carry a green card. You should carry a green card for the vehicle you are driving in the EU and EEA from 1st January 2021.
For fleet operators, each vehicle in the fleet will require a green card, as does each trailer being towed. Contacting your insurance provider is recommend at least one month in advance of the journey taking place.
It should be noted that if your vehicle is involved in a road accident when in the EU, compensation may not be available if an uninsured driver is involved or the driver cannot be located. For legal advice or if you need more information click here.
The outcome of Brexit may be a challenging time for some hauliers to continue operating. If you have any questions about Brexit and how it may impact your haulage operations, feel free to contact HaulTech by clicking here, calling 01782 662244 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and HaulTech will do everything possible to support you during this time.