Guidance

ECMT international road haulage permits

Permits to travel to or through European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) member countries, and the rules you have to follow.

Stay up to date

A Brexit deal has been agreed but needs to be ratified. The UK could still leave with no deal on 31 October 2019 if the UK and EU do not approve and sign the withdrawal agreement.

This page tells you how to use ECMT permits until Brexit and how to buy permits to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Check what to do now to carry out international road haulage after Brexit and sign up for email alerts for the latest information.

About the permits

You can complete most international journeys until 31 December 2019 without ECMT permits. This includes if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

You can apply for ECMT international road haulage permits for journeys between ECMT member countries.

You can use ECMT permits for:

Some goods can be transported without an ECMT permit. Check chapter 2 (‘Liberalised transport’) of the ECMT user guide to find out if your goods are exempt in the countries you intend to travel to or through.

Eligibility

To use an ECMT permit, you must:

Where you can use the permits

You can use ECMT permits in 43 countries, and for driving through EU and EEA countries. These include:

  • EU and EEA countries (except Cyprus and Iceland)
  • 14 other countries

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, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.

Apply for permits

Apply for short-term ECMT permits if you want to transport goods through EU countries to non-EU countries who are ECMT members before Brexit.

Permits for August, September and October 2019

Email DVSA to apply.

DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
shorttermecmt@dvsa.gov.uk

You need to include:

  • your operator licence number
  • the journey destination (it must be a country outside of the EU and EEA)
  • proof that you’ll be travelling to this country before Brexit (for example, a contract to import and export, or evidence of recent or regular travel to the country)
  • how many permits you need (up to a maximum of 5)
  • which type of vehicle you’ll use (Euro V or Euro VI)
  • the vehicle registration numbers
  • the vehicle and trailer types and makes
  • the vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
  • the vehicle engine types and numbers

Only apply if you’ll be travelling through EU and EEA countries to ECMT member countries not in the EU and EEA during August, September or October 2019.

Permits for November and December 2019

You can buy permits if you’ll be doing either of these in November and December 2019:

  • travelling through EU and EEA countries to non-EU and non-EEA countries who are ECMT members
  • carrying out 3 cross-trade journeys a week

To buy permits, you need:

  • your username and password to manage your vehicle operator licence
  • a debit or credit card to pay the application fee

When you sign in, select the Permits tab.

Start now

Fees

You have to pay £20 for each individual permit. You pay £10 immediately, and then another £10 to have the permit issued when your details have been checked.

Rules for using the permits

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 can only use your original permit. You cannot:

  • make copies of it
  • transfer it to other vehicle operators or businesses

Do not laminate the permit, as it may be stamped at checkpoints by competent authorities.

You must only use a permit in one vehicle at a time.

Example If you have 10 ECMT permits, you can have a maximum of 10 vehicles making journeys to or through ECMT member countries at once.

When a vehicle returns to the UK, you can move the permit to another vehicle on your operator licences. That vehicle can then make journeys to or through ECMT member countries.

If you have more than one vehicle operator licence

The ECMT permit is not allocated to one of your specific operator licences. You can use a permit for a vehicle assigned to any of your operator licences.

What you cannot use ECMT permits for

You cannot use ECMT permits:

  • to travel through ECMT member countries on journeys to non-ECMT member countries
  • for cabotage
  • for unaccompanied trailers or semi-trailers
  • with vehicles of a different Euro emissions class to that shown on the permit

ECMT ‘certificate of compliance’ for vehicles and trailers

You must carry an ECMT ‘certificate of compliance’ in your vehicle and trailer. Certificates 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, or contact DVSA for advice.

DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
irhp@dvsa.gov.uk

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, email DVSA to request a certificate.

DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
irhp@dvsa.gov.uk

Meet the ECMT Quality Charter

You must meet the ECMT Quality Charter when you use ECMT permits.

If you have a standard international operator licence, you already meet the requirements of the charter.

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 before the UK leaves the EU to show you meet the ECMT Quality Charter.

Fill in the short-term permit before a journey

You need to write in the ‘valid from’ and ‘valid to’ dates on your permit before the journey.

Fill in the ECMT log book before a journey

Each ECMT permit comes with a log book.

Before you start a journey, you must fill in the permit’s log book with a full record of all the journey’s details. Use a permanent ink pen.

If you make a mistake, cross the words out neatly. Make sure the mistake is still readable, as inspectors and competent authorities need to check them.

What to do when you make 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
  • the ECMT certificate of compliance for the vehicle and trailer
  • a certificate of roadworthiness for the vehicle and trailer

The driver must show the documents at control checkpoints when asked to do so.

Find out how different ECMT member countries carry out inspections

Check what other vehicle documents and driver documents the driver needs to carry on international journeys.

It’s illegal to not have the right documents for your journey. You can be fined for not carrying them.

Send journey records to DVSA

The ECMT log book contains a duplicate (carbon copy) of journey records.

You must send the duplicate records to DVSA within 2 weeks of the end of the calendar month the journey ended in.

International Road Haulage Permits Office
DVSA
Hillcrest House
386 Harehills Lane
Leeds
LS9 6NF

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.

DVSA International Road Haulage Permits Office
irhp@dvsa.gov.uk
Telephone: 0330 678 1117
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

If you give up your operator licence

You need to return your ECMT permits and log books to DVSA if you apply to give up (‘surrender’) your vehicle operator licence.

Published 26 November 2018
Last updated 30 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added a link to the service to buy ECMT permits for November and December 2019.
  2. Updated information about buying permits for journeys until 31 December 2019. You'll be able to buy these permits from 30 August 2019 - you only need to buy them if you’ll be travelling to non-EU or EEA countries through the EU or EEA.
  3. Added information about how to prepare for Brexit, which includes a link to a new guide about how to carry out international road haulage after Brexit.
  4. Updated to confirm you can continue to use your EU Community Licence until 31 December 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and that you would need an ECMT permit to transport goods through EU or EEA countries to non-EU or EEA countries who are ECMT members. Added information about how to apply for short-term ECMT permits for April 2019.
  5. Updated the guidance on applying, as applications for 2019 permits closed at 11:59pm on Saturday 16 March 2019.
  6. Added information about how to apply for a further allocation of ECMT permits the UK has secured, if you have not already applied for a 2019 permit.
  7. Added information about the UK government working to put arrangements in place with individual EU member states, updated information about what happens next if you applied for an ECMT permit for 2019, and added information about how to get an ECMT ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ for vehicles and trailers.
  8. Updated the guidance on applying, as you can no longer apply for ECMT permits for 2019. Applications closed on Friday 18 January 2019.
  9. Extended the deadline to apply for 2019 permits from 11:59pm on 21 December 2018 to 11:59pm on 18 January 2019, and added information about short-term permits.
  10. Added guidance on meeting the ECMT Quality Charter.
  11. First published.