Transport regulations in international trade

Health and safety considerations for the transport and transport services sector

Health and safety are critical issues for all parts of the transport and transport services sector. The rules with which you'll need to comply in your target country will depend on the type of product or service you're offering.

These regulations are standardised across the European Union (EU) so, if your business is operating solely within this area, you can usually ensure compliance by meeting the relevant UK law.

Safety of vehicles and vessels

You must ensure you comply with all local safety requirements for any vehicles and vessels you own, operate or sell. If you manufacture components for vehicles and vessels, these may also be subject to safety regulations.

Key areas that you need to consider are type approval, and construction and use requirements. These will be specific to the type of vehicle, vessel or component you're operating or selling.

Find out about type approval on the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) website.

If you operate in countries outside the EU, you must check the details for each destination or transit country individually to make sure you're complying with local laws. See the page in this guide on researching your export destination in the transport, transport infrastructure and services sector.

Safety of passengers, drivers and freight

If you offer transport services, you'll have to comply with detailed regulations to ensure the safety of any passengers and freight - as well as the staff you employ. For example, across the EU, the maximum hours a driver can work are strictly regulated.

The key areas you must consider, if relevant, are:

  • passenger safety
  • restrictions on the carriage of dangerous goods
  • welfare of drivers and other staff
  • worker safety on board the modes of transport your business operates