If you transport goods to or through Europe using cars and trailers, vans, and HGVs, you’ve got some new international road haulage rules to get used to.
The new rules mean you might need to:
- Register some journeys within Europe on an online service from 2nd February
- A vehicle operator licence is you use vans or car trailers to transport goods to or through Europe from 21st May
Registering your Road Haulage journeys
The new rules mean you must register your journey to transport goods between two points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, for commercial reasons.
This is regardless of whether you’re loading goods in one country and unloading them at a different location within the same country, using a vehicle registered in the UK (cabotage jobs).
Or whether you’re loading goods in one country and unloading them in a different country, again using a vehicle registered in the UK (cross-trade jobs).
However, it’s important to remember that these changes also apply if you move goods for your own business’ use between countries.
There is no fee for registering your journey, and you’ll need:
- Your vehicle operator licence number (if you have one)
- Contact details for your transport manager or another contact person in the UK
- Your drivers’ names, addresses and driving licence numbers
- The dates your drivers’ most recent employment contract with you started (or the contract with the agency if you’re using agency drivers)
- The type of employment contract
- The estimated start and end dates of the journey
- The vehicle registration (number plates) of the vehicle and trailer
You will get a penalty if your journey isn’t registered, so it’s probably best to sign up for email alerts, so you know when the online service is up and running.
What documents will your diver need?
Your driver must carry a digital or physical copy of the information you register for the journey.
The rules are not changing for the other documents your drivers will need. They will still need to carry all the usual:
- vehicle and trailer documents
- driver documents – including tachograph records
- export documents – including an electronic consignment note (e-CMR) or a paper CMR
Make sure your drivers have all of these, as they will get penalties from the enforcement authorities in the European countries if they do not have the correct documents.
It’s also worth noting that enforcement authorities in the European countries can also ask you for copies of the documents your drivers have to carry and documents about the driver’s pay during the journey, their employment contract, and timesheets for their work.
This must be uploaded to the online service within eight weeks of a request.
The final word
Keeping ahead of the changes is a headache, which is why we recommend you sign up for email alerts, so you know when the online service is up and running. At least that way, you’ll know you’re complying when you need to.
We’ll update you when new changes happen, so keep your eye on our blog for news that may affect your business.