UK hauliers have been urged to submit applications for international road haulage permits before the closing deadline (this Friday, 18th January) ahead of a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has advised vehicle operators looking to transport into the EU-27 countries post-Brexit that they should prepare accordingly.
An ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) permit will be needed by commercial vehicle operators to transport goods into the European Union (EU) and EEA (European Economic Area) if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29th March 2019.
Sarah Laouadi, European Policy Manager at FTA, said: “A No Deal exit from the EU remains a distinct possibility and businesses must prepare for this eventuality. Applications for ECMT permits close this week and FTA advises businesses to submit their applications urgently, or risk being unable to travel in the event of a No Deal outcome.
“The number of ECMT permits available to British operators is painfully short of the required total; it is likely to cover only 5% of the current vehicle journeys made between the UK and EU. Without frictionless movement between the UK and the EU, the delicate supply chain our economy relies upon will be in jeopardy. With this in mind, FTA has prepared a list of emergency “mini-deals” and contingency measures, covering areas including truck permits, aviation and VAT, which we will demand the UK government prioritises with Brussels urgently to limit the disruption of a No Deal scenario.”
Laouadi continued: “The European Commission has already tabled a proposal whereby UK hauliers could carry out certain transport operations in the EU on the basis of mutual recognition of the Community Licence; however, this arrangement would not cover cabotage or transport between two EU countries and comes with many other restrictions and caveats. FTA will stand up for its members and seek to ensure the proposal is improved to meet the needs of the industry. In the meantime, operators should nevertheless apply for ECMT permits as there is no guarantee there will be a workable alternative in time for Brexit day.”