News article

International haulage permit deadline approaching

6 November 2018


Hauliers wishing to apply for ECMT permits must be registered online by 12 November 2018

The Department for Transport in the UK issued a notification to outline what commercial drivers may need to do to drive in the EU and EEA when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

Currently, UK lorry drivers carrying out international journeys must have a standard international operator’s licence along with a community licence for journeys to, from or through the EU and EEA.

Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans) and drivers operating on own account (carrying their own goods) do not need an international operator’s licence or Driver CPC.

From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU exit deal, EU and EEA countries may not recognise UK issued community licences. In those circumstances, the UK Government is confident that it would be able to negotiate new or reinstate old bilateral agreements with EU countries to provide haulage access.

However, transport managers may wish to apply for annual ECMT international haulage permits for 2019. European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits will enable UK operators to drive in the EU and EEA (except Cyprus) if UK issued community licences are not recognised. ECMT permits are also recognised in 15 other countries.

Operators with a Northern Ireland operator’s licence will not be required to obtain an ECMT permit for a journey to the Republic of Ireland. Operators with a Great Britain operator’s licence should apply for an ECMT permit if they plan to drive in the Republic of Ireland from 29 March 2019.

Limited numbers of ECMT permits will be available. It is expected that you will be able to apply online for ECMT permits from 26 November to 21 December 2018. Hauliers wishing to apply for ECMT permits must be registered on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency online system by 12 November 2018.