News article

Brexit: Carrying out international road haulage

13 August 2019

This page is out of date. It told you how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. After 31 January 2020 there will be a transition period until the end of 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. For current information on international road haulage during the transition period, see Goods vehicle operator licensing: licence applications and International road haulage: operator licences and permits.

No deal Brexit preparation advice for UK goods vehicle operators

In the event of the UK exiting the EU without a deal, goods vehicle operators need to make preparations for their international road haulage operations.

Get the right operator licence
You must have a standard international operator licence for journeys to, through or from the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).

You also need an EU Community Licence. You can use your existing community licence until 31 December 2019, even if there’s a no deal Brexit.

Find more detail on how to get the right operator licence.

Get the right permits
You can complete most international journeys until 31 December 2019 without extra permits. This includes if there’s a no deal Brexit.

You will need European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits for journeys through EU and EEA countries to ECMT countries not in the EU or EEA, eg you’ll still be able to drive in Switzerland and Norway using an EU Community Licence if there’s a no deal Brexit - however, you’ll need an ECMT permit for the part of your journey through EU and EEA countries.

Haulage in the Republic of Ireland
You will not need extra permits for haulage in Ireland if there’s a no deal Brexit. You’ll still be able to use your EU Community Licence for journeys:

  • to and from Ireland
  • through Ireland to other EU or EEA countries
  • through Ireland between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Find more detail on how to get the right permits.

Cabotage and cross-trade jobs
The number of cabotage and cross-trade jobs you can do will reduce if there’s a no deal Brexit.

You’ll be allowed to carry out two cabotage or cross-trade jobs within seven days of making an international journey until 31 December 2019.

Find more detail on cabotage and cross border jobs.

Own account journeys
You’ll be able to do own account journeys to EU countries until 31 December 2019. You’ll be allowed to do two extra operations within seven days of first loading or unloading in the EU.

Find more detail on how to carry out own account journeys.

Further information
GOV.UK has detailed guidance for business on the implication of a no deal Brexit for international road haulage. This covers topics including:

You can also sign up for email alerts to get the latest information on Brexit implications for international road haulage.