“Lottery” permit allocation falls short of what is needed, says RHA

“Lottery” permit allocation falls short of what is needed, says RHA

The number of  international permits that will allow some UK truckers to work in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit falls short of what is needed, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is claiming.

The licences, known as ECMT permits, allow for access between 43 member states which includes all EU members except Cyprus.

For 2019 there are 984 annual permits for Euro VI emission vehicles, 2,592 monthly permits for Euro VI emission vehicles, and 240 monthly permits for Euro V or VI emission vehicles.

The RHA said the bidding process for permits was grossly over-subscribed and thousands of UK international hauliers are now in the intolerable position of being unable to plan future operations. 

Commenting, RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “When the bidding process for permits was first announced, we said that it amounted to nothing more than a lottery system. Even with the new allocation, ECMT will only supply permits for around 10% of the sector’s needs.” 

The RHA said not all operators who should have been able to apply for permits did so - a clear indication that the communication undertaken by government has not penetrated deep enough.

Burnett continued: “To say that many international hauliers will be disappointed is an understatement. How can they be expected to maintain the flow of exports to the rest of the EU if they do not have and cannot have enough permits to allow access to Europe? We need the alternatives to be put in place, or even better, we need a full transition period so practical measures can be achieved to maintain our supply chains.”

Applicants who have been unsuccessful in this bidding round will be automatically entered into the next allocation round for annual and monthly ECMT permits. The RHA is calling for the application process for permits to be reopened for a short period to allow operators who did not apply first time and those with Euro V vehicles (at least) to apply.

International transport licences was introduced by the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) in 1974 to support liberalised road freight transport between member states of that body.