Following a week full of uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of a delay to Brexit, EU leaders have agreed to offer Britain a deadline of 22 May, but only if MPs approve Theresa May’s deal before Friday 29 March. If they don’t, the delay will last until 12 April, at which point the EU has made it clear that the UK must set out next steps, or leave with no deal.
In this guide, we take a look at the latest news on Brexit, and how these recent developments will impact the haulage industry; both from the position of importers and exporters, and hauliers themselves.
As it stands, MPs are expected to conduct a third vote on the Brexit withdrawal deal, although no date has yet been set. The news comes after May’s arrival at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday 21 March – a mere eight days before the deadline set by law – and gave a 90-minute presentation, with the hopes of persuading the EU to postpone Brexit until the 30 June.
EU leaders agreed to a delayed deadline of 22 May; making it clear that if MPs reject Mrs May’s deal for the third time, Britain will only have until 12 April to return to the negotiating table with a viable agreement that can work for all involved.
Prior to the 12 March vote on the Prime Minister’s proposed deal, the UK’s logistics sector sent an open letter to Mrs May which reminded Parliament to consider the potential disruption a no-deal departure from the EU would cause.
However, despite a series of votes in the House of Commons on 13 March that rejected a no-deal Brexit, a no-deal still remains on the table unless MPs are able to agree on Theresa May’s deal. Given the difficulties that the Prime Minister has had trying to get her deal approved in the past two weeks, hauliers would be wise to prepare for the worst.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has previously warned the industry that under the government’s no-deal Brexit plan, imported HGVs will attract a 22% tariff. That would be a crippling burden for UK hauliers. We have also posted about how a no-deal Brexit would effectively lead to a lottery-style system to allocate the limited number of international haulage permits. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges UK hauliers will face.
The government has recently produced a checklist of new documents that haulage drivers will have to carry through customs if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. That includes:
International driving permit (IDP)
You may need an IDP in addition to your UK driving licence to drive in EU and EEA countries. That will be a 1926 IDP for Liechtenstein, a 1949 IDP for Spain, Malta and Cyprus and a 1968 IDP for all other EU countries.
Before you travel, you should check you have enough time left on your UK passport.
Trailer registration plates and papers
Whatever the EU exit outcome, all commercial trailers weighing over 750kg will have to be registered with the DVLA before travelling abroad, and drivers will need to carry trailer registration plates and papers.
European Conferences of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit
It’s now expected that hauliers will not need ECMT permits until 31 December 2019 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, some journeys will not be covered by the new European Commission regulation. For example, transit from the EU to a third country such as Switzerland or Ukraine may require an ECMT permit.
As well as their vehicle registration documents and log book (V5C), UK drivers in the EU will also need to carry the following in the event of a no-deal Brexit:
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
Lorry drivers already need a CPC qualification to drive in the EU and EEA. However, the EU may cease to recognise UK-issued Driver CPC qualifications in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Drivers with a UK CPC who work for an EU company or plan to work for an EU company should consider exchanging their UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC before we leave the EU. That will allow drivers to continue working for UK and EU companies.
Motor insurance Green Card
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, if there is no decision is made by the European Commission regarding proof of insurance checks, UK registered vehicles will have to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU.
A GB sticker on the rear of the vehicle
Even if you have a GB identifier on your number plate, it is still recommended that you display a GB sticker when driving in the EU.
We will endeavour to keep you up to date with the latest Brexit news so you know what to expect. At Transmode, we are agile, adaptable and more than capable of responding to any challenges Brexit brings – to keep your business moving. Get in touch to find out more.