Guidance for hauliers moving goods between the UK and EU


The Government has issued updated guidance for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union (EU). It explains what is required from 1 January 2021 and which regulations are still unconfirmed — pending the outcome of UK-EU negotiations.

The guidance includes a detailed checklist of customs documents. It also prepares drivers for what to expect when heading to ports.  

Separate guidance will be issued on moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  

Key points
All UK drivers will still need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and must carry their Driver CPC qualification card while driving in the EU.  

Urgent action should be taken by drivers holding a UK Driver CPC who work for, or plan to work for an EU company (e.g. a UK driver working for a French or Irish operator). This is because a UK Driver CPC may not be recognised as a valid qualification by EU employers from 1 January 2021.  

Drivers may need an international driving permit (IDP) in addition to their UK driving licence to drive in some EU and EEA countries. Further clarification is expected on this. IDPs can be purchased over the counter at many UK Post Office branches. An IDP costs £5.50.  

UK drivers may need immigration permissions to undertake an international journey to the EU. Further details will be issued subject to the outcome of UK-EU negotiations. When the rules are confirmed, information about how to get a visa will be on each country’s travel advice page.  

UK drivers will need at least 6 months on a UK passport to travel to the EU from 1 January 2021.  

ECMT permits — UK hauliers travelling to or through the EU may require a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit for some journeys from 1 January 2021. The journeys for which ECMT permits are required will depend on the outcome of UK-EU negotiations.  

Motor insurance Green Card — a Green Card is an international certificate of motor insurance accepted in 48 countries. UK drivers are likely to need a Green Card to drive their vehicles in the EU (including the Republic of Ireland) from 1 January 2021. Green Cards for all vehicles and trailers should be obtained in advance from the insurance company insuring the vehicle or trailer.  

GB stickers will need to be displayed to the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the number plates include the GB identifier under the EU logo. Vehicles registered in Great Britain or Northern Ireland don’t need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland.  

For full details, visit the Government’s website.