Permits to travel to or through European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) member countries, and the rules you have to follow.
ECMT permits allow you to transport most types of goods (or drive an empty vehicle) through ECMT member countries.
You need to follow rules about using your ECMT permits, including your drivers carrying the right documents.
Check if you need ECMT permits
You can use ECMT international road haulage permits for journeys between 43 ECMT member countries:
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.
You cannot currently use ECMT permits to travel to Russia because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A limited number of ECMT permits are available. However, you can usually make journeys to 41 of these 43 countries without an ECMT permit.
EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
You do not need an ECMT permit.
Cross-trade jobs in the EU
You can use your UK Licence for the Community to carry out 2 cross-trade jobs (moving goods between 2 countries) in the EU.
You need an ECMT permit if you want to carry out a third cross-trade job. The ECMT permit will let you carry out 3 cross-trade jobs between any ECMT country.
Cross-trade jobs between EU and non-EU countries
You need an ECMT permit if you want to carry out a cross-trade job between the EU and a non-EU country. The non-EU country must be an ECMT member country.
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine
You do not usually need any permits to transport goods to, through or from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
However, you need to get a bilateral road haulage permit if you’re travelling:
- through Turkey to another country
- in Ukraine using a Euro III or Euro IV vehicle
Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia or Tunisia
You cannot currently get bilateral permits for Belarus or Russia because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
You can get bilateral road haulage permits instead of ECMT permits if your journey involves Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Russia or Tunisia.
Unlike ECMT permits, many more of these permits are available.
Armenia or Azerbaijan
You must have an ECMT permit to transport goods to, through or from Armenia or Azerbaijan.
If your journey also includes any other ECMT countries, you should:
- use your ECMT permit for the journey
- not apply for separate bilateral permits - you cannot use a bilateral road haulage permit at the same time as an ECMT permit
What you cannot use ECMT permits for
You cannot use ECMT permits:
- to travel through ECMT countries to countries that are not in the scheme
- for cabotage (loading and unloading goods for hire or reward between 2 points in a country by a vehicle that’s not registered in that country)
Cyprus is not part of the ECMT scheme. You cannot use an ECMT permit to transport goods through Cyprus to ECMT countries.
To apply for an ECMT permit, you must:
- have a vehicle operator licence for Great Britain or a vehicle operator licence for Northern Ireland
- have Euro VI or Euro V emissions standard vehicles (depending on the type of permit you’re applying for)
How much it costs
How much you have to pay depends on:
- the type of permit you’re applying for
- when you apply
Short term permits cost £10.
They are valid for 30 days.
Annual permits are valid until 31 December 2023.
The fee for annual permits depends on the time of year you apply for them.
|When you apply
|January to March
|April to June
|July to September
|October to December
You will also have to pay a non-refundable £10 application fee for each permit you apply for.
Apply for permits
You can apply for:
- short-term permits for 30 days
- annual permits valid until 31 December 2023
Email the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) International Road Haulage Permits Office to apply.
DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
You need to include:
- your operator licence number
- the date of your first journey
- the type of journey (third cross-trade, cross-trade from an EU country to a non-EU country, or travel to a non-EU ECMT country)
- the journey destination, including your loading and unloading points
- which countries you’ll go through to reach your destination
- how many permits you need
- the type of permits you’d prefer (annual or short-term)
- which type of vehicle you’ll use (Euro V or Euro VI)
What happens next
You might be asked to send proof that you’ll be travelling to your destination in 2023 (for example, a contract to import and export, or evidence of recent or regular journey to the country).
You’ll then need to pay a £10 application fee and pay for your permits.
Pay the non-refundable £10 application fee for each permit when DVSA requests it.
Email DVSA to confirm you’ve paid the application fee.
Pay the permit fee when DVSA requests it.
Email DVSA to confirm you have paid the permit fee.
DVSA will post your permits to you.
Rules for using the permits
You must carry your UK Licence for the Community during any journeys to or through EU countries when you’re using an ECMT permit.
You can use an ECMT permit to make an unlimited number of journeys within:
- a calendar year, if you have an annual permit
- 30 days of the start date on the permit, if you have a short-term permit
You have to return to the UK after every third journey.
You can only use your original permit. You cannot:
- make copies of it
- transfer it to other vehicle operators or businesses
- use it in more than one vehicle at a time
Do not laminate the permit, as it may be stamped at checkpoints.
Example If you have 10 ECMT permits, you can have a maximum of 10 vehicles making journeys to or through ECMT countries at once.
When a vehicle returns to the UK, you can use the same permit to make another journey during the period it is valid for, or you can move the permit to another vehicle on your operator licences. That vehicle can then make journeys to or through ECMT countries.
If you have more than one vehicle operator licence
You can use an ECMT permit for a vehicle assigned to any of your operator licences. It’s not allocated to a specific operator licence.
You’re not allowed to transfer a permit to another business entity, for example, a sister company.
Rules for the vehicles and trailers
You cannot use ECMT permits you’re allocated:
- for unaccompanied trailers or semi-trailers
- with vehicles of a lower Euro emissions class to that shown on the permit (for example, you cannot use a Euro VI permit in a Euro V vehicle, but you can use a Euro V permit in a Euro VI vehicle)
Get an ECMT ‘certificate of compliance’ for vehicles and trailers
You must carry an ECMT ‘certificate of compliance’ in your vehicle and trailer. They must confirm the vehicle meets the correct Euro emissions standard and the trailer meets the technical safety requirements.
If your permit application is successful, request a certificate from your vehicle or trailer manufacturer.
Get an ECMT ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ for vehicles and trailers
You must carry an ECMT ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ for your vehicle and trailer.
If your permit application is successful and you do not already have a certificate, apply online to get one.
Before you start
To apply for an ECMT certificate of roadworthiness, you need:
- your username and password if you’ve used the service to manage your vehicle operator licence before (you can register in the service if you’ve not used it before)
- the vehicle registration number (number plate)
- the trailer registration number or ID number from DVLA (if you’re applying for a trailer)
- the vehicle or trailer type and make
- the certificate of compliance number (leave this blank if you do not have the number)
- vehicle identification number (VIN)
- engine type and number
Meet the ECMT Quality Charter
You must meet the ECMT Quality Charter requirements.
If you have a standard international operator licence
You already meet the requirements of the charter if you have a standard international operator licence
If you have a restricted or standard national operator licence
If you have a restricted or standard national operator licence you need to:
- have a transport manager
- give proof you have the higher levels of financial standing needed for a standard international licence
You can also apply for a standard international licence to show you meet the ECMT Quality Charter.
Fill in the ECMT log book before a journey
Each ECMT permit comes with a log book.
Before you start a journey, fill in the permit’s log book (in pen, not pencil) with a full record of all the journey’s details.
If you make a mistake, cross it out. Make sure the mistake is still readable, as it may need to be checked.
What drivers need to carry during journeys
The driver will need to carry these documents for all of the outward and return journey:
- the ECMT permit
- the ECMT permit log book (plus the issued translation sheets)
- the ECMT certificate of compliance for the vehicle and trailer (plus the issued translation sheets)
- a certificate of roadworthiness for the vehicle and trailer (plus the issued translation sheets)
The driver must show the documents at checkpoints when asked.
It’s illegal to not have the right documents for the journey. Your driver can be fined for not carrying them.
Send journey records to DVSA
If you have an annual ECMT permit, you must send the original (top sheet) for each completed page of the ECMT log book to DVSA within 2 weeks of your return to the UK.
You must send the complete ECMT log book to DVSA within 2 weeks of the permit’s expiry date.
International Road Haulage Permits Office
386 Harehills Lane
Lost, damaged or stolen permits
Contact DVSA straight away if you lose or damage a permit, or if one is stolen.
You should also tell the police if a permit is stolen.
If you give up your operator licence
Send your ECMT permits and log books to DVSA if you apply to give up (‘surrender’) your vehicle operator licence.
Get help with ECMT permits
Contact the DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office to get help with ECMT permits.