On February 7th the government introduced legislation on cross-border haulage as the UK prepares to depart the EU. It is the government’s wishes that the UK and EU maintain current trade relations as much as possible, meaning that corporation and support is provided from both parties for a long and prosperous partnership, even after Brexit.
This could mean a future deal that would require a form of permitting system and the government will also require legal frameworks in place if a new administrative system was required when handling a new deal and new methods of trade between the UK and EU.
The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill, put into place by Baroness Sugg in the House of Lords gives the government the authority to do this.
This has been planned to ensure that the UK can have a smooth and secure transition through to Brexit, as we depart the EU and lose membership, but maintain current and develop future partnerships with other nations in the market. This means UK hauliers can keep completing jobs abroad even after Brexit.
Regarding the matter, in a statement Chris Grayling said:
“Our road haulage industry is right at the heart of the £110 billion of trade that takes place between the UK and EU every year. We believe reaching an agreement to continue the liberal access enjoyed by both sides is in everyone’s interests and remain confident we will do so.”
“But I also understand that hauliers are planning for the years ahead and want to have certainty that any future deal can be implemented smoothly – so this Bill ensures we have plans in place if the deal requires a permitting system.”
Vital parts of the bill include:
- A permit scheme if necessary which maintains an agreement between the UK and EU – this means British drivers can obtain the required paperwork to work in EU countries.
- A newly established trailer registration scheme to match the scheme placed during the 1968 Vienna convention – This means that drivers can comply with the requirements of every EU country they may travel to. It will be a requirement for all trailers travelling across Europe.
- Some countries in Europe may have agreements with third party countries who could require a permit as a form of verification for drivers to operate on a global scale. This bill will also ensure that issuing permits will not be a problem for hauliers if it did become a requirement in some areas post-Brexit
With this new bill, many of the terms held within the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic will be kept in place. The UN introduced the terms to develop on terms for international road travel and ensure the safety of road users as well as safekeeping for the nations who were a part of the EU at the time.
With the terms in place, access to international roads is only accessible for registered motor vehicles and trailers. This means the UK will still have access to these international locations despite leaving the EU through the newly enforced international trailer registration system. This will be a mandatory requirement for businesses who operate internationally.
Many aspects of the requirements are already completed through legal requirements of the Highway Code.
Deputy Chief of the FTA, James Hookham, spoke on the matter:
“The Freight Transport Association supports this bill as a sensible contingency measure, but one that exporting and importing businesses hope never has to be used.
Any decision which will enable the frictionless movement of trade to continue between the UK and EU is to be welcomed, and the UK’s logistics industry needs reassurance that ‘business as normal’ can continue throughout the negotiations and transition period.
We also support the government’s objective of ensuring that no limits are set on the number of goods vehicles crossing between the EU and UK after Brexit, to ensure that Britain and its European neighbours can maintain an effective trading relationship.”
This has provided many international firms with re-assurance that the government do have a planned procedure for departure of the EU that doesn’t have any negative impact on trade across Europe.