Dual registration for specialist events hauliers

How to use the dual registration measure if you are a specialist events haulier.

About dual registration

The dual registration measure is for operators working on a ‘hire or reward’ basis who have an established haulage base outside Great Britain (GB) and who also maintain a GB haulage base.

It will allow them to temporarily transfer their vehicles between their 2 operator’s licences without needing to change their specialised vehicles or having journeys limited by the international cabotage rules within each territory.

Hauliers using this measure will be exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) on a foreign-registered vehicle whilst the vehicle is temporarily operating on a GB operator’s licence.

The vehicles will need to be registered and compliant with domestic legislation in the countries in which their bases are established.

The VED exemption only applies to vehicles brought into GB temporarily. The department interprets ‘temporarily’ in most cases as being no more than 6 months in any 12-month period. This period aligns with the rules on temporary imports. This can be a single visit, or several shorter visits. There is no minimum time period between exit and re-entry.

Operators are required to specify (register) the vehicle(s) prior to its first use under their GB operator’s licence, and to remove the vehicle from their GB operator’s licence when it leaves GB. This is to ensure that the vehicle(s) do not inadvertently exceed the 6-month limit. This can be done by contacting the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at

To add the vehicle back on to their international operator’s licence, operators will need to contact the relevant competent authority where the international base is established.

Eligibility and criteria

The criteria which an operator must meet to use the dual registration and VED exemption are that:

  • the operation consists of national carriage for hire or reward by a haulier who is a holder of a Community Licence or an authorisation issued by the relevant authority in the country of establishment - if the driver is not a national of an EU member state, they must hold a driver attestation relevant to the territory in which the haulage base is established
  • the vehicle has been specifically designed or substantially modified to carry the goods set out below
  • the goods being carried are property, equipment or animals being carried to or from theatrical, musical, film or circus performances or sporting events, exhibitions or fairs, or to or from the making of radio or television broadcasts or films
  • the goods being carried are loaded, unloaded or reloaded within Great Britain - the goods must remain unchanged

The terms ‘property’ and ‘equipment’ can include works of art and accompanying display materials, musical instruments and accessories. This does not include goods intended for onward sale, such as merchandise.

Alongside this, hauliers will need to satisfy a number of conditions, set out in the following sections.

Operator licences

To function as a haulage operator, the haulage company will need an operator’s licence (sometimes called an O licence).

Refer to the goods vehicle operator licensing guide for the current arrangements.

An operator’s licence is issued by a traffic commissioner who also has powers to take regulatory action against a licence holder where they fail to meet the expected standards of operation.

An operator’s licence must be held by the person – whether an individual, partnership or a company – who ‘uses’ the vehicle and this may or may not be the owner of the vehicle. The user of the vehicle can be:

  • the driver, if they own it or it is in their lawful possession under an agreement for hire, hire-purchase or loan
  • the person or entity who employs or contracts the driver – whoever controls or pays the driver

The operator will be responsible for ensuring that all operator licensing and road safety requirements are met, including complying with drivers’ hours and tachograph rules and ensuring that vehicles and trailers are roadworthy to UK standards prior to use in the UK. Foreign-registered vehicles are subject to the same rules as vehicles registered in the UK.

The maintenance commitments that the operator gives to the traffic commissioner on application must be complied with in full. This includes ensuring that drivers carry out adequate walk-round checks of the vehicle, which are recorded in writing.

An operator should assess whether the vehicle requires a first use inspection in order to comply with the maintenance inspection intervals specified for that licence.

You can contact the DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office for help with applications for transport outside certain EU countries.

Using foreign vehicles on a GB operator’s licence

For journeys to be considered domestic, the vehicle must be operating under the operator’s licence for the base in the territory in which it is being used.

Vehicles being used outside GB should be operating under their local operator licence, and when those vehicles are in GB, they should be operating under the GB operator’s licence.

This will not impact the UK-wide validity of Northern Irish-registered vehicles.

If you are a specialist event haulier involved in the transport of equipment for cultural events, you can register your interest in temporarily transferring vehicles onto your GB operator’s licence by contacting the Office of the Traffic Commissioner at

The Office of the Traffic Commissioner will then provide details of how to register non-GB registered vehicles.

Operators will need to ensure that the vehicles have been removed from their international licence for the same period.

Adding a vehicle onto a GB operator’s licence while it remains on an international operator’s licence is not permitted in GB. The vehicle must only be on one operator’s licence at a time.

The vehicle will need to be registered and compliant with domestic legislation in its home country. The vehicle can only be used in GB temporarily, which is interpreted as being no more than 6 months in any 12-month period as per the rules on temporary imports.

This can be a single visit or several shorter visits over a 12-month period.

Establishing an operating base in Great Britain

In order to maintain an establishment in GB, operators would have to continue to comply with the licensing requirements in GB law.

Establishing an operating base in the EU

GB operators who do not already have an operating base in the EU will need to establish themselves as a road transport operator in the EU and obtain an EU Community Licence. To do that, an operator would need to comply with several obligations including, but not limited to:

  • having an establishment in an EU member state with premises in which it keeps its core business documents, in particular its accounting documents, personnel management documents, documents containing data relating to driving time and rest and any other document to which the competent authority must have access in order to verify compliance
  • having at its disposal on an ongoing basis, a number of vehicles and drivers, proportionate to the volume of transport operations carried out by the undertaking
  • being of good repute, according to the conditions set out here
  • having appropriate financial standing, according to the conditions set out here
  • organising its fleet to return to their EU base every 8 weeks
  • registering on register of commercial companies (if required by national law)
  • ensuring compliance with local tax and VAT law
  • having vehicles registered or put into circulation and authorised for use under national laws (vehicles can be owned or leased)
  • conducting its administrative and commercial activities with appropriate equipment/facilities at the premises and managing its operations using its vehicle, as referred to above
  • having at its regular disposal vehicles and drivers normally based at the operational centre in the EU member state (in proportion to transport operations undertaken)

Choosing an EU member state in which to set up an additional base will involve several considerations to be made on a case-by-case basis. This is a business decision and not something the government can advise on.

If any operator is considering setting up a new operating base in the EU or elsewhere internationally, they may find it helpful to consider talking to an operator who has already done so.

Establishing an operating base in a non-EU country

If an operator wants to maintain their base in a non-EU country (rather than an EU country) alongside their GB establishment, then they would have to continue to comply with the licensing conditions in that non-EU country. We would recommend contacting that country’s enforcement agencies for detailed advice.

Transport managers

Operators establishing a base in the EU will need to appoint a transport manager who must be of good repute and have a Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

The appointed person must be resident in the EU.

The GB establishment will also need to continue to have a transport manager under the same conditions.

The appointed person must be a resident in the UK.

An operator wishing to establish and maintain a base in a non-EU country would need to comply with any requirements relating to transport managers or equivalent that may be in place in that country.


Drivers will need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). Both the EU and the UK recognise each other’s Driver CPC qualifications for providing a service (I.e., driving) in each other’s territories but not for employment.

Those employed by the EU base will need a Driver CPC issued in an EU Member State; those employed by the GB base will currently be able to use either a UK or an EU-issued Driver CPC, although this could change in the future.

Operators wishing to transfer an EU-registered vehicle onto their GB operator’s licence would need to ensure that their drivers have the right to work in the UK. This is because while they are driving a vehicle on a GB operator’s licence, they would be employed by the GB base. Likewise, when driving a vehicle under the EU operator’s licence they would be employed by the EU base and would need to be eligible to work in the EU.

Operators who have established and maintain a base in a non-EU country will need to ensure that their HGV drivers meet the driver qualification requirements relevant to the territories they are established in.

Further guidance

Published 15 July 2022