International road haulage: no-deal Brexit haulier checklist

A checklist of documents that haulage drivers must carry to pass through customs if there's a no-deal Brexit.

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You will need extra documents if you’re taking goods out of the UK and into the EU.

Before using roll-on roll-off ports and the Eurotunnel you must ensure that:

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

Documents for drivers

You must carry the following documents:

If you do not have a photocard licence, you may need additional IDPs.

You will continue to need:

You don’t need a standard international operator’s licence or Driver CPC if you are a:

  • UK driver with a vehicle under 3.5 tonnes (including vans)
  • driver operating on own account (carrying your own goods)

EU Community Licence

You can continue to use your 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
  • driving through EU countries to reach another EU country
  • limited cabotage or cross-trade

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.

ECMT permits

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

Find out if you need an ECMT permit

Documents for trailers

Before travelling to the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Europe, you must register all:

  • commercial trailers weighing over 750kg
  • non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg

If you are towing these trailers you 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.

Documents for vehicles

UK haulage drivers will need to carry:

If you are transporting goods under the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) scheme you will also need:

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

You will continue to need:

All road hauliers (including drivers) travelling to the UK must operate an ‘effective system’ to prevent people using their vehicles to enter the UK illegally:

Documents for importing and exporting goods

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 comply with EU requirements could result in delays or penalties.

Learn about new customs processes for:

Documents for commercial, customs and transit at roll-on roll-off locations

You will need to carry different documents if you are:

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

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

If you are carrying goods into the UK from the EU via roll-on roll-off locations you will need:

  • evidence of a customs declaration:
    • an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
    • a movement reference number (MRN) or entry number
  • 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 the MRN or EORI as proof that customs processes are being followed.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, HMRC will tell you when to start to make entry summary declarations (ENS) for goods moving from the EU to the UK.

Declaring export of goods from the UK into the EU

You will need to check with the trader that the goods have received ‘permission to progress’ (P2P) to the port from HMRC before taking them across the border.

What you need to do depends on the type of P2P they have:

P2P granted

You can collect goods and continue to the UK port specified by the exporter.

P2P not granted, physical check required

You can collect goods then proceed to a Designated Export Place (DEP) or approved inland location for appropriate checks and P2P.

P2P not granted, documentary checks required

Do not collect goods until the exporter has provided documentary checks to the National Clearance Hub and received further instruction.

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.

If you are carrying goods into the EU from the UK through roll-on roll-off ports or the Channel Tunnel may also need:

Documents to move goods under transit

Importers and exporters may move goods under transit arrangements to remove the need for separate export and import declarations at each border crossing.

One, or a combination of 3 systems will be used.

Common Transit Convention (CTC)

To move goods under CTC, you must have a Transit Accompanying Document (TAD), which includes the MRN

The Office of Departure or Authorised Consignor gives the TAD to you when the journey begins.

Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR)

To move goods under TIR, you must have TIR documentation plus an ‘Approval Certificate of a Road Vehicle for the Transport of Goods under Customs Seal’.

Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet

To move goods under ATA Carnet, you must have ATA Carnet documentation.

Haulage drivers moving goods under transit will also need:

Moving an empty vehicle or trailer

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

Documents for transporting excise duty suspended goods from the UK to the EU

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

Documents for 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.

You should not move these goods until they:

If you are transporting live animals you 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:

Published 13 March 2019
Last updated 28 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. Clarification on the documentation required by hauliers for importing and exporting goods if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  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, 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.
  3. First published.
  1. Step 1 Apply for operator licences and permits

    1. Check if you need a vehicle operator licence
    2. Apply for a vehicle operator licence

    You will need other licences and permits, depending on the countries you're driving to or through.

    1. Check which licences and permits you need

    Your vehicle must pass a specialist test before you can transport dangerous goods (ADR test).

    1. Book a specialist vehicle test
  2. Step 2 Make sure your driver is eligible to drive abroad

    Check your driver has:

    The driver must carry these documents with them.

    Your driver will need an IDP to drive in some EU countries if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

  3. Step 3 Check the rules for the goods you're carrying

    1. Find out what you need to do if you're exporting your own goods

    There are rules for transporting certain goods. Your driver may need to follow set routes or stop at specific check points if you’re transporting mixed loads or specific types of goods. Check the rules for:

    1. Find out what you need to apply for if you’re moving goods temporarily out of the UK

    If you're transporting goods outside the EU they must have been cleared by customs (given ‘permission to progress’). The exporter can tell you if this has happened.

    All goods will need to be cleared by customs before leaving the UK if there's a no-deal Brexit.

  4. Step 4 Make sure your driver has the right export documents

    Your driver will need copies of:

    • any export licences
    • the Movement Reference Number (MRN) from the export declaration - if you're moving goods after a no-deal Brexit
    • the MRN and the Local Reference Number (LRN) - if you're moving goods under the Common Transit convention (CTC)
    • the ATA Carnet document - if you're moving goods out of the UK temporarily
    • the TiR Carnet document - if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment with a seal number

    The exporter should be able to give all of these to you.

    You'll also need to have a customs seal approval certificate for the vehicle if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment. You'll get this when your vehicle passes the TiR test.

  5. Step 5 Find out what vehicle documents your driver needs to carry

  6. Step 6 Check local road rules

    1. Check the road rules for European countries on the AA website
    2. Check travel advice for countries outside Europe

    When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need, you can transport goods abroad.