19th November, 2020
Carrying goods to the EU by road after 1 January 2021
The Government has now published an online “Haulier Handbook” which is stated to be a “one-stop-shop for key information and advice on customs procedures, clearly setting out how you can prepare yourselves, your vehicles and the goods you carry to continue travelling smoothly across the border and help minimise disruption”.
The guidance contained therein is extensive and it would be inappropriate to try and summarise it here as I believe it is critically important for all international operators to consider this guidance in full as soon as possible. There is also a link to a further publication “Transport goods out of the UK by Road: step-by-step” (please see the link at the bottom of this article) which provides more detailed guidance on all aspects of the preparations that will need be made.
Some of the guidance is still subject to the ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU and it can only be hoped that a deal is reached to simplify what otherwise looks to be a very complex set of procedures.
There does however appear to be one glimmer of hope in that the guidance states that the holders of Community Licences will automatically have these replaced by a “UK Licence for the Community” for use from 1 January 2021 and that licence must be carried my all vehicles when working in the EU from that date. This new licence will not however guarantee the right of the UK haulier to do business to, from or within the EU which will depend on the outcome of the UK-EU negotiations. The guidance goes onto say that UK hauliers may require an ECMT permit for some journeys from 1 January 2021, but again the journeys that will require such permits is yet to be determined subject to the UK-EU negotiations.
Clearly operators will need to continue to monitor Government websites for further guidance as the negotiations progress.
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