Applications for international road haulage permits close this week (Friday 18 January) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the business organisation representing the logistics industry, is advising commercial vehicle operators wanting to transport goods into EU-27 countries post-Brexit to submit their applications urgently. A No Deal exit from the European Union is a very real possibility, according to FTA, and businesses must prepare accordingly.
Commercial vehicle operators will need ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) permits to transport goods to the European Union (EU) and EEA (European Economic Area) if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.
Sarah Laouadi, European Policy Manager, FTA commented: “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.”
Laouadi continued: “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.
“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.”
For more information or to apply for an ECMT permit please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ecmt-international-road-haulage-permits
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.