International Road Transport: IMPORTANT BREXIT UPDATE

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It is almost certain that rules will be in place to allow UK operators to conduct international road haulage operations in EU Member States from 29 March 2019 in the event of “no deal” until 31 December 2019.

These arrangements will be likely ratified by the EU Parliament in the week commencing 11 March 2019.

This will come as a huge relief to international operators facing the prospect of not being able to carry out international operations at all or only with a reduced fleet unless issued with sufficient permits. As we explained in our recent blog, international operator’s licences cease to have effect from 29 March in the event of ‘no deal’. This would mean operators having to revert to the ECMT permit system with capacity to authorise only a fraction of UK international operator requirements, meaning over 90% of fleets would be grounded.

Assuming the new rules are ratified – and we will update you about this – it is likely that it would be possible to make the following journeys without a permit:

  • journeys to and from any EU Member State (whether laden or unladen)
  • some ‘cabotage’ work– this will permit two journeys a week for four months and then one journey per week for three months (N.B. cabotage is the right to carry out domestic haulage operations within another EU member state, already restricted).

The intended rules will not allow access to non-EU countries so ECMT Permits would be required to travel through EU member states, e.g. to Switzerland

The net effect of this is that operators who applied for and have been granted ECMT Permits may now not need to rely on them but some may still be required.Some extra ECMT Permits have become available in the window 5 March until 23:59 hours on 16 March 2019 for operators who have not previously applied and only for Euro V vehicles (though can be used for Euro VI).cease to have effect from 29 March in the event of ‘no deal’. This would mean operators having to revert to the ECMT permit system with capacity to authorise only a fraction of UK international operator requirements, meaning over 90% of fleets would be grounded.

All this needs to be finalised and we will provide updated information in the very near future.The important thing is that the 29 March 2019 cliff edge for international operations will be averted, in the event of no deal.To reiterate: existing arrangements will continue if the UK does not leave the EU on 29 March or the withdrawal agreement is confirmed leading into the transitional arrangements.

Trailers: please note that you will still have to register UK commercial trailers if you wish to use them abroad from 28 March 2019. (This applies to all trailers over 3,500kgs but any commercial trailer over 750kgs.)

Ashtons Legal’s Road Transport Conference

Please note in your diary that our Ashtons Legal Road Transport Conference will take place on Thursday 13 June 2019 at Trinity Park, Ipswich, Suffolk. Further details will be available soon but there will be a full programme of Ashtons Legal speakers and presentations from sector guests, including the East of England and Senior Traffic Commissioner, Richard Turfitt.

We also anticipate an autumn conference in the Cambridge area (Date to be confirmed).

For further information or register interest, please contact our Events Manager, Toby Whittacker-Cook on toby.whittacker-cook@ashtonslegal.co.uk.

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