Guidance

EU Community Licences for international road haulage

Apply for an EU Community Licence to transport goods by road to or through EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and the rules you have to follow.

Prepare for Brexit

This page tells you how international road haulage permits work until the UK leaves the EU. It will be updated after the UK leaves the EU.

Check what to do now to prepare to carry out international road haulage after Brexit.

About the licences

You need an EU Community Licence if you make journeys for hire or reward within the EU.

The EU Community Licence is a single permit that covers trips between all EU member states. It also allows transit traffic through EU member states to and from non-EU countries - but you need extra permits for the non-EU countries.

EU Community Licences also allow cabotage (journeys entirely within one other EU member state).

There are no limits on the number of available licences.

Eligibility

You must have a standard international vehicle operator licence for Great Britain or standard international vehicle operator licence for Northern Ireland to apply for an EU Community Licence.

Where you can use the licences

You can use EU Community Licences in the 28 EU countries and 4 other countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Apply for licences

Call the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to get a licence. You need your vehicle operator licence number.

DVSA customer service centre
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

EU Community Licences and UK Licences for the Community are valid until the 5-yearly renewal date of your operator’s licence.

Fees

There’s no fee for EU Community Licences or UK Licences for the Community if you have a standard international vehicle operator licence.

Rules for using the licences

You can only use licences that have been issued to you. You cannot transfer them to another operator or company.

The licence includes:

  • an office copy - you must keep this at your main office so that it can be inspected by enforcement agencies
  • certified copies - you can get a certified copy for each of the vehicles authorised by your standard international vehicle operator licence

Certified copies of the licences are not specific to any one vehicle.

What to do when you make journeys

You must carry a certified copy of your EU Community Licence or UK Licence for the Community in your vehicle when transporting goods in or through the EU.

The driver must show it to any enforcement officer when asked to.

It’s illegal to not carry the certified copy or show it to enforcement officers when asked to.

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

Lost, damaged or stolen licences

You must tell DVSA if your documents are lost, damaged or stolen.

DVSA customer service centre
Telephone: 0300 123 9000
Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you give up your operator licence

You need to return the office copy and certified copies to DVSA if you apply to give up (‘surrender’) your vehicle operator licence.

Published 26 November 2018
Last updated 8 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Removed detailed information about the authorisations and permits you will need after Brexit. This information has been moved to a new guide. Added a link about how to prepare for Brexit which takes you to this new guide.
  2. 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.
  3. First published.