Hauliers to Ensure Insurance and Documents Accompany EU Trips

25 /Jan

Hauliers are at the sharp end of the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement [1], at a time when both Covid-19 and Brexit have placed strains on the supply chain. Haulage companies need to quickly understand the new arrangements and what is expected of them.

HGV operators and transport managers must arm their HGV drivers with the right documentation, if they wish to facilitate ease of passage of goods to European destinations, now that the Brexit transition period has ended and a new trade deal has been introduced.

They also need to be aware that February could bring further changes and there will be announcements on these in the early New Year. [2]

For now, laden HGVs can still carry out trips to Europe and also undertake additional movements, which can be cabotage – moving goods from place to place within one single EU member state – or cross-trade (moving goods between two EU member states).  Following a laden journey from the UK, it is currently possible to make one cabotage journey within the following seven days. Rules for Northern Ireland operators transporting good into Ireland are slightly different.

What is absolutely essential is that lorry drivers depart their depot with all of the right paperwork and documentation on board, know which documents they need to present and when, and are aware where these will need to be shown.

Some key things to remember, although there are many more to be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vehicle-documents-required-for-international-road-haulage is that a vehicle must be taxed and needs to display a valid operator’s licence disc [3] and drivers should carry their CPC (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence) qualification card, and their logbook V5C with them, plus their customs documentation relating to their load and any trailer registration certificate that applies.  A UK driver CPC will continue to be valid but EU drivers, wishing to work for UK companies, should swap their EU Driver CPC for a UK Driver CPC. [4]

Proof of HGV (and trailer) insurance, via a Green Card, is vital and you may also need to produce a certificate that proves that the goods being carried are insured. Trailers must have been pre-registered, if they fit certain criteria. [5]

If the vehicle is hired or leased, drivers will need to show a VE103, to prove they are allowed to use such a vehicle abroad.  A GB sticker should be displayed on the rear of both vehicles and trailers, other than if a GB or Northern Ireland-registered vehicle is travelling to Ireland or where an indication of GB provenance is already on the vehicle number plate, on its own or with the Union flag.

A driver’s passport will now need to have at least six months left on it, before the date of expiry.  This can be checked online. [6] They will only be able to be in Europe for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. If using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, HGV drivers also need a KAP (Kent Access Permit), if driving a vehicle over 7.5 tonnes. If travelling to France, need evidence of a negative Covid-19 test. [7] Details of how to get this are given at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-testing-for-hgv-drivers-using-the-port-of-dover-or-eurotunnel

It is no longer possible to apply for an annual ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) permit, to transport goods through an EU state to a non-EU state, but 30-day ECMT certificates can be issued until post-February 2021 arrangements are confirmed. [8]

All of the above is guidance and details can be found on Government website pages.  Any haulier should seek expert advice from the relevant authorities, to confirm whether any changes are made to the advice as the UK’s relationship with the EU evolves.

There are also very many other types of document that might be required and different trips may require different documentation to be carried. Advice centres have been set up at some designated motorway service stations [9], but most preparation needs to be done in the depot.

Drivers and truck operators also need to be aware of new six-month HGV parking bans around some ports in Kent, intended to keep lorries out of residential areas. [10]

There is a lot of red tape to take in, but there is help online at https://www.gov.uk/check-hgv-border/check-an-hgv-is-ready-to-cross-the-border from the Government and its advisers.  We will be able to assist you with your insurance queries and any upgrades to your goods in transit cover, which you may believe to be advisable, if your vehicles are likely to be parked up at ports for some time.  Other insurances may also protect your business better in these challenging times for haulage, so please get in touch, if you wish to find out what is available.



[1] https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/future-partnership/draft-eu-uk-trade-and-cooperation-agreement_en

[2] https://www.iota.org.uk/blog/department-for-transport-release-important-update-for-hauliers-on-market-access-rules-from-1-january-2021

[3] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vehicle-documents-required-for-international-road-haulage

[4] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transporting-goods-between-great-britain-and-the-eu-from-1-january-2021-guidance-for-hauliers#introduction

[5] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carry-out-international-road-haulage

[6] https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe

[7] https://www.gov.uk/check-hgv-border

[8] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ecmt-international-road-haulage-permits

[9] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations

[10] https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/uk-has-left-the-european-union/travel-and-transport/hgv-parking-ban-scheme


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