The Government is asking hauliers to prepare for new rules for transporting goods to or through Europe using cars and trailers, vans and HGVs from 2022.
The rules are part of the UK’s deal with the EU and form part of The Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The new rules will affect you if you transport goods using:
- cars and trailers
- vans or other light goods vehicles (for example, if you run a European courier service)
- heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
The rules apply if you use:
- vans with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes)
- vans towing a trailer with a gross train weight (GTW) over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes
- cars towing a trailer with a GTW over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes
You will not need a goods vehicle operator licence if any of these apply:
- you only use your vehicles in the UK
- you are transporting goods on a non-commercial basis (not for ‘hire or reward’)
What is changing?
The new rules mean that you might need:
- to register some journeys within Europe on an online service from 2 February 2022
- a vehicle operator licence if you use vans or car and trailers to transport goods to or through Europe from 21 May 2022
How to prepare
Transport companies and couriers which use vans and car and trailers over 2.5 tonnes to transport goods in and out of the UK from 21 May 2022.
From 21 May 2022, you’ll need a standard international goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
This will apply if you’re based in Great Britain or Northern Ireland and use:
- vans or other light goods vehicles (sometimes called ‘light commercial vehicles’)
- vans towing trailers
- cars towing trailers
You’ll need to either:
- add the vehicles to your goods vehicle operator licence (if you already have one)
- get a goods vehicle operator licence for the first time
If you already have a goods vehicle operator licence
You’ll need to add your vans and car and trailers to your existing goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. You will not need to assign them to an operating centre.
You’ll be able to add your vehicles to your operator licence later in 2021 - you cannot do it yet.
You can sign up for email alerts on the Government’s website to be told when you can add them.
Changes to your transport manager’s responsibilities
Your transport manager will become legally responsible for all the vehicles on your operator licence, in addition to the HGVs and trailers already on it.
If you do not have a goods vehicle operator licence
You’ll need to get a goods vehicle operator licence to continue using your vans or car and trailers to transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
You’ll need to apply for a standard international licence - this lets you transport your own and other people’s goods.
You can apply for an operator licence later - you cannot do it yet.
There’s no fee to add the vehicles to your licence if you have not reached your vehicle limit.
However, you will need to pay £257 to make a ‘major variation’ if you need to increase the vehicle limit on your licence.
There are different goods vehicle operator licensing fees in Northern Ireland.
Changes to your ‘financial standing’
By law, you need to prove that you have access to a set amount of finance to run your business (called ‘financial standing’). The amount you need depends on how many vehicles you have.
The amount you need depends on the type and number of vehicles.
Full details can be found on the Government’s website. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/new-rules-for-international-road-haulage-in-2022