Guidance

Transport goods out of the UK by road if the UK leaves the EU without a deal: checklist for hauliers

A checklist of documents that haulage drivers must carry to pass through customs if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 12 April 2019.

Changing documentation

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, from 11pm GMT on 12 April 2019 haulage drivers will need extra documentation to cross the border between the UK and the EU.

If you are taking goods out of the UK and into the EU, you must ensure that:

  • you have the required documentation
  • all relevant customs declarations have been completed to comply with EU processes

before using roll-on roll-off ports and the Eurotunnel.

Sign up for road freight email alerts and DVSA email alerts to stay up to date on this proposal.

Driver documents

From 11pm GMT on 12 April 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal UK haulage drivers will need to carry these documents:

Haulage drivers will continue to need:

UK drivers with vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans) or drivers operating on own account (carrying their own goods) do not need a standard international operator’s licence or Driver CPC.

Vehicle documents

From 28 March, whatever the EU Exit outcome, all commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg need to be registered with DVLA before travelling abroad. Drivers towing these trailers will need to carry:

If you take an abnormal load trailer outside the UK you must apply for a keeper’s certificate for an abnormal load trailer. You need to keep the keeper’s certificate in your vehicle when you go abroad.

From 11pm GMT on 12 April 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, UK haulage drivers will need to carry these vehicle documents:

If there is no EU Exit deal, UK hauliers can continue to use their EU Community Licence until 31 December 2019. You will not need any extra permits to transport goods in EU countries until 1 January 2020 for:

  • journeys to and from the UK – for example, a journey from the UK to Germany, or a journey from Italy to the UK
  • driving through EU countries to reach another EU country – for example, driving through France to reach Spain
  • limited cabotage or cross-trade – the rules on what you can do will change from the day the UK leaves the EU

You must carry your Community Licence or UK Licence for the Community document in your vehicle when you make these journeys, but you do not need an ECMT permit.

For journeys not listed above, UK haulage drivers may also need:

  • ECMT permit
  • ECMT ‘certificate of compliance’ for vehicles and trailers
  • ECMT ‘certificate of roadworthiness’ for vehicles and trailers

UK haulage drivers transporting goods under the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) scheme will also need:

  • Approval Certificate of a Road Vehicle for the Transport of Goods under Customs Seal

UK haulage drivers will continue to need:

Documentation for importing and exporting goods

From 11pm GMT on 12 April 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, customs processes and documentation for importing and exporting goods will change.

EU countries may impose different requirements on their side of the border. Carrying goods that do not complying with EU requirements could result in delays or penalties. You should familiarise yourself with these new processes:

Cargo, customs and transit documents at roll-on roll-off locations

From 11pm GMT on 12 April 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, haulage drivers will need to carry different documents depending if they are:

  • declaring the import and export of goods
  • moving goods under transit or
  • moving an empty vehicle or trailer

Declaring import of goods into the UK from the EU (where the destination is the UK)

Traders bringing goods into the UK via roll-on roll-off locations, must pre-lodge customs declarations with HMRC before goods board the vessel or train in the EU.

Haulage drivers carrying goods into the UK from the EU will need:

  • evidence of a customs declaration, either:
  • commercial invoice – showing information including the value of the goods
  • Exit Summary Declarations (EXS) to submit to the EU customs authority from which the goods are leaving – you will need to check with the EU customs authority about what documents they require to export goods from the EU to the UK

The UK Border Force will accept either digital or paper versions of the MRN or EORI as proof that customs processes are being followed.

The requirement for entry summary declarations (ENS), also known as safety and security declarations, will be phased in for goods moving from the EU to the UK, giving business more time to prepare for changes. Hauliers will not be required to submit ENS for 6 months after EU Exit.

Declaring export of goods from the UK into the EU

To ensure that goods are being legally exported, hauliers will need to check with the trader that the goods have received “permission to progress” to the port from HMRC before taking them across the border.

You will need to check with the EU customs authority about what documents they require at the EU border.

Goods may be selected for further checks during the crossing and may need to be inspected by customs on arrival in the EU.

Haulage drivers carrying goods into the EU from the UK will need:

Moving goods under transit

Importers/exporters or their representative may decide to move goods using ‘transit’ arrangements. This removes the need for separate export and import declarations at each border crossing and reduces the amount of checking at the border. To move goods under transit, importers and exporters will use one or a combination of three systems:

  • Common Transit Convention (CTC) or
  • Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet or
  • TIR

Depending on the system used, haulage drivers must have:

Haulage drivers will also need:

Moving an empty vehicle or trailer

Customs documents are not required if a vehicle or trailer is empty. Driver and vehicle documentation are still required.

Transporting excise duty suspended goods from the UK to the EU

Haulage drivers must have a full customs departure message for ‘excise duty suspended goods’ from the UK exporter. This will be the:

  • ‘notification of departure of goods’ (for example, alcohol or goods covered by guarantee)
  • Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) Administrative Reference Code for the consignment entered into box 40 of the customs export declaration

Transporting animal, plant, and other controlled products

Transporting live animals, products of animal origin (POAO), plants and plant products, and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO) may need extra requirements or different transit routes. Haulage drivers should not move these goods until they:

Haulage drivers transporting live animals must have the following documents from the importer or exporter. The EU will no longer accept UK-issued versions of these documents:

  • transporter authorisation
  • certificate of competence
  • vehicle approval certificate
  • journey log (where necessary)

Check local traffic conditions and road rules

Before you travel you should check:

Stay informed

Some of these requirements may change depending on the terms that the UK leaves the EU. Bookmark and revisit this web page or sign up for email alerts to stay up to date.

Published 13 March 2019
Last updated 21 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. 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 non-EEA countries who are ECMT members.
  2. First published.