Applications for international road haulage permits opened this week and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has advised commercial vehicle operators who want to transport goods into EU-27 countries post-Brexit to apply “sooner rather than later”.
The Government still hopes the agreement reached with the EU at the weekend will be signed off by Parliament in a “meaningful vote” next month – this would maintain the existing access for commercial hauliers – it would allow UK hauliers to continue to operate as they do today.
However, the RHA said whilst the Government remains optimistic about a deal winning parliamentary approval, “it’s wise for hauliers which trade internationally, to prepare for all scenarios, including a no deal outcome”.
Commercial vehicle operators will need ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) permits to transport goods to the EU and EEA (European Economic Area) if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.
Applications for 2019’s annual permits opened on 26 November 2018 and will close at midnight on 21 December 2018. The expected allocation of permits however is likely to cover only 5% of the current vehicle journeys made between the UK and EU.
Sarah Laouadi, FTA's European Policy Manager, commented: “The number of ECMT permits available to British operators is painfully short of the required total. Whilst it is currently the only available continency for hauliers to mitigate the risk of being barred from operating in Europe after Brexit, it falls short of FTA’s “Keep Britain Trading” demands in terms of transport market access.
"Without frictionless movement between the UK and the EU, the delicate supply chain our economy relies upon will be in jeopardy; FTA continues its plea to government to avoid a disorderly departure that risks the UK grinding to a halt.
She added: "Parliament must now support the draft agreement to secure the transition period and give negotiators more time to devise a transport solution that would remove the need for ECMT permits.”
Posted on: November 27th 2018