Even though Brexit is now potentially less than two months away, there is still no firm news on what form it will take.
That being so, it may be helpful to take a look at the potential impact of Brexit on the haulage industry.
Going into this subject in depth would be a huge undertaking and well beyond the scope of this article; however, these are some key points to note.
There will be limitations on permissible journeys
Up until the 31st December 2019, it will still be permissible for UK hauliers to deliver goods to EU states, even if this involves driving through other EU states in order to do so (e.g. travelling through Belgium to reach France).
There will, however, be limitations on two cabotage or cross-trade journeys made within seven days of making another international journey.
For journeys until 31 December 2019 if there’s a no-deal Brexit, they will also need an ECMT ‘certificate of compliance’ and ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ for vehicles and trailers, along with trailer registration plates and papers for commercial trailers weighing above 750 kg and motor insurance Green Cards for both the vehicle (and trailer if appropriate). However, readers are urged to keep up-to-date on any Brexit developments from the Gov.uk website.
There will be new registration requirements for companies
It has recently been released, as covered by the Independent and other news outlets, that more than 88,000 VAT-registered businesses will now receive a registration number that allows EU customers authorities to identify them.
This, however, is just the first step and other issues still require further attention moving forward.
It is still unsure, whether or not UK operators with existing licenses will be able to maintain them until they expire. If hauliers wish to transport goods in both directions between the UK and the EU, they will need to obtain Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI).
There will be increased requirements for documentation for drivers
UK nationals who are driving goods vehicles for the purpose of delivering goods within the EU/ECMT and/or collecting them for delivery to the UK currently need a valid passport and UK driving licence.
It is possible that post-Brexit, the EU will start to enforce “lifespan” requirements on documentation, such as requiring that a passport be valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry to a country.
It is highly probable that, post-Brexit, all drivers will require a valid International Driving Permit valid for the country or countries to be visited. The most common form of IDP is known as 1968 and it is currently valid in all but four EU countries.
The four exceptions are Spain, Malta and Cyprus, which use IDP 1949 and Liechtenstein which uses 1926.
On a final note, the information contained within this article is highly tentative and can be subject to change at any time. You can keep up-to-date with any Brexit developments from the Gov.uk website or Ask a lawyer.