International road transport: added No Deal processes, documents & burdens

Oct 21 2019 / UKHAULIER

With the question of whether the UK will leave the EU without a ‘deal’ or not still in a state of flux operators and drivers need to be conscious of the procedures and documents to be in place in the event of ‘no deal’, on October 31 or on a date thereafter, writes Tim Ridyard of Ashtons Legal solicitors.

The exact details of all these systems (if no deal) are still not entirely clear but we have a reasonable steer, sufficient for businesses to plan. Business needs will vary a great deal depending on the type of international transport work carried out. The non-exhaustive checklist below needs to be considered to avoid illegality, costly delays/holds-ups, issues with customers and/or penalties. 

Operator licences

  • existing Community licences / authorisations usable to 31/12/19 under special contingency measures (with potential extension to 31/7/20) – max 2 cabotage or cross-trade operations in 7 days without permit (contingency)
  • must carry Community licence/ authorisation as now
  • new ‘UK Licence for the Community’ will replace Community licence etc on renewal

ECMT permits

  • needed through EU/EEA to ECMT countries e.g. Switzerland 
  • permits only valid with completed logbook 
  • certificates of compliance required for both vehicle and trailer 
  • ECMT roadworthiness certificates needed
  • cabotage not permitted 

Vehicle insurance

  • carry Green Card for both vehicle and trailer (2 docs)
  • check expiry date in case of renewal during trip

Vehicle registration document 

  • logbook (V5C or V103 if leased)
  • GB sticker (notwithstanding GB on any number plate)

Hire vehicles (proof)

  • contract if hired
  • driver employment proof 

Trailer registration

  • in force for all commercial trailers over 750kgs mam regardless of Brexit
  • must display registration plates
  • must carry trailer registration paperwork

Driving licence

  • photocard alone valid in 24 EU countries 
  • International Driving Permit needed for France, Italy & Cyprus (as well as photocard DL)

Driver CPC

  • UK Driver CPC valid to/through EU/EEA if working for UK company
  • exchange to EU Driver CPC if employed by non-UK company (some countries recognise card/ others have driving licence code 95)


  • min 6 months to expiry
  • possible EC visa proposals

Health insurance

  • EHIC healthcard might not be valid
  • need for alternative healthcare insurance

Letter of authority / ‘attestation’

  • to be carried by driver


  • digicards/ charts etc as now
  • expect no change here whatever happens

Clandestine entrants / Border Force

  • same system as now but heightened danger due to delays
  • check robustness of systems already in place

Dover & Calais / Operation Brock (Dover/Eurotunnel)

  • all paperwork to be in place pre-journey including e.g. Port of Calais ‘app’
  • awareness of boarding/exit procedures (stamping/lanes/paperwork/ routes)
  • fixed penalties for non-compliance (both in Kent and in France)
  • errant drivers to be ‘sent to back of queue’
  • traffic arrangements at Calais (lanes/ driver screens / driver app etc)

All customs documents and evidence (as necessary) 

  • evidence of import/trader declaration (MRN or EORI); any export documents required; commercial invoice; safety and security declaration for UK to EU; entry summary declaration; CMR document; TAD (transit accompanying document) or ATA carnet or TIR carnet NB some can only be ‘wet’-stamped e.g. ATA carnets

The above is not legal advice but a pointer to some of the additional burdens, processes, licences, documents and procedures that road transport businesses need to consider in the event that the UK leaves the EU at some stage with ‘no deal’ agreed. Much of this will be new and unfamiliar to operators as hitherto unnecessary under current frictionless arrangements. Clearly the inevitable costs will have to be absorbed or passed on to customers. Delays (e.g. for customs clearance) may impact on drivers’ hours and other issues.

The position is of course very fluid and can vary from day to day. Please get in touch for formal tailored advice and further information from UK Haulier member, Ashtons Legal.

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