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Detailed guide: Transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: guidance for hauliers and commercial drivers

Guidance for haulage companies and commercial drivers moving goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union.

Detailed guide: Transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: guidance for hauliers and commercial drivers

Published: 08 January 2021
By Chris Haycock



Introduction

This guidance is for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union (EU).

It explains:

  • what documents you need
  • how to follow new rules to manage traffic heading to ports
  • new border control processes

Separate guidance on moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will follow soon.

Stay up-to-date

Some of the rules are still being agreed between the UK and the EU. This guidance will be updated with the latest information as soon as it is available.

Visit an advice site at a motorway services or truckstop for in-person advice.

COVID testing

Drivers and crew of HGVs heading to?any port crossing to France must display proof of an authorised negative COVID test, conducted within 72 hours prior to travel.

Free COVID testing is available for drivers and crew of HGVs, LGVs and vans at some haulier advice sites.

We strongly advise drivers and crew to get a negative test before they travel to Kent or other Channel crossing points.

Drivers and crew using Dover and Eurotunnel will get fast-tracked past queues if they get tested and have a valid Kent Access Permit before arriving in Kent.

Testing is available at Manston Airport and Ashford Sevington in Kent, but there is a chance of severe delays.

To avoid delays, get tested at an advice site before entering Kent.

Drivers: documents, licences and permitsDriver Certificate of Professional Competence

All UK drivers need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in order to work. Drivers need to carry their Driver CPC qualification card while driving in the EU.

Drivers working for UK operators

Drivers with a current UK Driver CPC working for UK operators do not need to take any additional action regarding qualifications. A UK Driver CPC is valid for drivers of all journeys that UK operators are entitled to undertake, either on the basis of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement or on the basis of ECMT permits.

EU drivers can work for UK operators with a Driver CPC awarded by EU member states. If such drivers wish to have long-term certainty on their ability to work for UK operators, they should exchange their EU Driver CPC for a UK Driver CPC.

UK drivers working for EU operators

Drivers who hold a UK Driver CPC working or wanting to work for EU businesses should check with the relevant organisation in the country where they live and work to find out what they need to do.

Driving licences and international driving permits

Drivers need the correct category of driving licence for the vehicle they are driving. Drivers can check the driving categories on their licence.

You do not need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

Check if you need an IDP.

IDPs can be purchased over the counter at many UK Post Office branches. An IDP costs £5.50.

Visas, passports and identity cards

UK drivers need at least 6 months on a UK passport to travel to the EU. Drivers can check if they need to renew their passport.

UK drivers can operate in the EU without the need for a visa, providing they do not spend more than 90 days in the EU within any 180-day period.

Information about how to get a visa if you need one is on each country’s travel advice page.

Before 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can enter the UK with a passport or national identity card.

From 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need a passport to travel to the UK.

This will not apply to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals whose rights are protected by the withdrawal agreements, including those covered by the EU Settlement Scheme and frontier workers. They will still be able to use national identity cards for travel until 31 December 2025 at least.

UK hauliers: documents, licences and permitsAccess to the EU

UK operators can undertake unlimited journeys to, from and through the EU. Up to 2 additional movements (cross-trade or cabotage) may be undertaken within the EU following a laden journey from the UK, with a maximum of 1 cabotage movement within a 7-day period.

Both additional movements may be cabotage movements in Ireland for Northern Ireland operators provided they follow a journey from Northern Ireland, and are performed within a 7-day period.

Operator licensing: UK Licence for the Community

UK hauliers undertaking international work need the relevant operator licence.

Hauliers with a Community Licence should have received a replacement ‘UK Licence for the Community’. A copy of the new UK Licence for the Community should, in all circumstances, be carried on board all vehicles when working in the EU.

ECMT permits

UK hauliers who wish to undertake up to 3 cross-trade movements (moving goods between 2 countries outside the UK) may do so using a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit.

Find out about the ECMT application process.


Highways England news licensed and reproduced under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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