A checklist of documents that haulage drivers must carry to pass through customs if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 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.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, UK haulage drivers will need to carry these documents:
- international driving permit (IDP) – 1949 IDP for Spain, Malta and Cyprus; 1926 IDP for Liechtenstein, 1968 IDP for all other EU countries
- passport – check if your UK passport is valid for travel in the EU
Haulage drivers will continue to need:
- Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
- the appropriate goods vehicle operator licence and identity disc
- UK drivers licence
- tachograph charts or driver’s digital smart card
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.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, 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
All commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg need to be registered with DVLA before travelling in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Europe. 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.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, UK haulage drivers will need to carry these vehicle documents:
- motor insurance Green Cards for both the vehicle and for the trailer
- a GB sticker on the rear of the vehicle
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:
- vehicle registration documents when driving abroad for less than 12 months, either a:
- paperwork, stickers, payment cards or electronic toll devices to use roads abroad
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:
Documentation for importing and exporting goods
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, customs processes and documentation for importing and exporting goods will change.
- Trading and moving goods from the EU to the UK if the UK leaves the EU with no deal
- Trading and moving goods from the UK to the EU if the UK leaves the EU with no deal
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:
Commercial, customs and transit documents at roll-on roll-off locations
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, 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:
- 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.
The UK will phase in entry summary declarations (ENS), also known as safety and security declarations, for goods moving from the EU to the UK. Hauliers do not need to submit ENS until 1 October 2019. From this date, hauliers will be legally responsible for submitting ENS for accompanied freight to HMRC before they arrive in the UK.
Declaring export of goods from the UK into the EU
To ensure that the goods are being legally exported, hauliers 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. Depending on the type of P2P the exporter has, haulage drivers will need to:
- P2P granted: collect goods and continue to UK port specified by the exporter
- P2P not granted, physical check required: collect goods and proceed to a Designated Export Place (DEP) or approved inland location for appropriate checks and P2P
- P2P not granted, documentary checks required: 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.
Haulage drivers carrying goods into the EU from the UK through roll-on roll-off ports or the Channel Tunnel may need:
- certificate of insurance for the goods carried
- international road consignment note (CMR)
- export licence or to follow special rules for the type of goods carried
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)
- Transports Internationaux Routiers (TiR)
- Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet
For CTC, haulage drivers must have:
- Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) for moving goods under CTC, which includes the MRN – the Office of Departure or Authorised Consignor gives the TAD to the haulier when the journey begins
For TIR, haulage drivers must have:
- TIR documentation plus an ‘Approval Certificate of a Road Vehicle for the Transport of Goods under Customs Seal’
For ATA Carnet, haulage drivers must have:
Haulage drivers moving goods under transit will also need:
- ENS for safety and security purposes will be required for goods moving from the UK to the EU – for CTC, the transit declaration can include the ENS information
- certificate of insurance for the goods carried
- export licence if required for the type of load carried
Moving an empty vehicle or trailer
Declarations 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:
- are sure the importer or exporter has met the extra requirements:
- Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU Exit
- Exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products to the EU after EU Exit
- Importing and exporting plants and plant products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal
- Trading and moving endangered species protected by CITES if there’s no withdrawal deal
- have confirmed that the chosen port of entry will be able to check the goods:
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:
- if there are disruptions or delays at the at UK and EU ports and Eurotunnel
- the road rules for European countries
- travel advice for the countries you’re driving through
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.