Hauliers and commercial drivers are on the very frontline when it comes to the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU. As a result, those transporting goods to Europe and Northern Ireland, need to be aware of changing rules which will affect documentation relating to themselves, their vehicle and the companies they operate for and on behalf of.
Working with Growth Platform’s Post-EU Transition Support Service, we’ve developed a checklist of some of the most important changes individuals working in the logistics sector need to be aware of.
Making preparations before you hit the border
The new trading relationship with the EU has brought with it a greater amount of documentation to prepare before embarking to cross the border into EU territory. It’s vital that you follow the procedures put in place or potentially be stopped from making a journey into European territory or across the Irish boarder.
- COVID-19 testing – As a result of the global pandemic, all haulage and commercial drivers need to ensure they have the correct documentation to prove that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
- Driver competence documentation and licences – All UK drivers entering the EU will need to produce a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in order to work. Drivers need to carry a CPC card at all time while driving in the EU. In addition, drivers will need to produce a relevant licence for the type of vehicle they are driving. Again, a drivers licence card should be carried at all times.
- Passports and Visas – UK drivers need at least 6 months on a UK passport to travel to the EU. They can also operate in the EU without the need for a visa, providing they do not spend more than 90 days in the EU within any 180-day period.
- Company documentation – Many drivers will be working for a UK haulage or logistics company. As a result, each will need to provide the relevant documentation which proves the authority of their company to be operating in EU territory.
These documents will include:
- An operating licence (these may come in the form of the UK Licence for the Community)
- Motor Insurance Green Card
- Vehicle registration documentation
- Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence
- A clearly displayed ‘GB’ sticker
You will also need to plan deliveries and collections to ensure compliance with the rules of cabotage. Click here to find out more here.
Checking you’re compliant before you go on to a UK port or EU-bound transport hub
Given the increase in documentation now required from commercial and haulage drivers before they enter the EU, the Government has set up a number of Inland Border Facilities (IBFs) that are designed to aid in checking documentation is in order. A full map of where the IBFs are located can be accessed by clicking here.
Hauliers may need to go to an IBF if they have:
- Entered the UK or plan to exit the UK via Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead and need:
- To start or end a CTC movement
- CITES checks
- An ATA carnet or TIR carnet stamped
- Been directed there because they are not border ready
- Been directed there for a document or physical inspection of their load
- To check solid wood packaging (pallets/dunnage) meets the ISPM15 international standards.
Drivers can also use the IBFs to pre-book or pre-notify for a slot at Border Control Posts – in both the UK and EU.
Kent Access Permit (Travelling to the EU via Euro Tunnel and Port of Dover)
HGV drivers or designated hauliers must use the Check an HGV is ready to cross the border service to get a Kent Access Permit (KAP) if they are using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel. This is to prevent traffic congestion in Kent by ensuring that HGVs are not held up at ports.
Northern Ireland operations
As well as a changed status in the relationship between the UK and EU, the new trade deal also has implications for goods moving between the UK and Northern Ireland. For example, the Northern Ireland Protocol explains that goods from Great Britain (not deemed to be at risk of leaving the UK customs territory) will not pay any tariffs. However, goods ‘at risk’ of entering the EU’s single market will pay EU tariffs and tariff rates will be dependent on commodity.
For haulage and commercial drivers, extra documentation may be required when moving goods between the two countries. For instance, you may require a valid safety and security ENS declaration certificate along with a GVMS reference number. In addition, you’ll need to check that the goods you are carrying on behalf of a supplier hold valid XI EORI numbers.
Preparation is key
The above checklist should be used as a guide only. If you are still unsure about the documentation you need to cross the UK border into EU territory Growth Platform’s Post-EU Transition Support Service has dedicated pages on everything you’ll need to prepare, click here for further details.