Driving in the EU after Brexit


As the Brexit date draws closer and talks on border control continue, businesses throughout the UK are preparing for implications and changes that may need to take place.

For hauliers , this is no different, especially for those where the job includes international travel. The question on driving in the EU arises…what will change? The Department for Transport advise that in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without making a deal on 29th March 2019, commercial drivers may need extra documentation to drive in the EU and EEA.

Currently, hauliers in the UK must carry two types of licenses to travel on international journeys – a standard international operator’s licence and a community licence . However, if there is a no deal Brexit, EU and EEA countries may no longer recognise UK issued community licenses.

If this happens, the UK government believes it would be able to negotiate an agreement with EU countries to provide haulage access, but advise that you may want to make sure you have a back up in case this doesn’t go to plan.

ECMT (European Conference of Ministry of Transport) permits will replace the current Community licence if it is no longer recognised, and will allow hauliers to drive in the EU and EEA. There will only be a limited number of these permits available via the government website. Applications using your vehicle operator licence online account must be made between 26th November and 21st December 2018. If you feel this may impact you we recommend finding out more here. 

In a recent edition of Commercial Motor they report that the logistics sector has seen a fall in confidence due to concerns about the possible side effects from Brexit. But as with the majority of economic changes, staying in the know and preparing for what’s to come puts you in a stronger position. The NAO (National Audit Office) have said that preparations are in place for a smooth Brexit transition, with security and flow of traffic being prioritised over compliance activity in the short term. This may make it easier for you to make the transition and ensure you have the relevant licenses.

It’s great to be aware of these requirements, but please remember they may change depending on the outcome of negotiations so make sure you register here to remain in the know.