UK fleets operating light goods vehicles internationally, including to the Republic of Ireland, will fall under operator licensing rules for the first time from May 21.
Operators of vehicles more than 2.5 tonnes and up to 3.5 tonnes that transport goods for hire and reward from the UK into, or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, will need to obtain an International Operators’ Licence.
Introduced as part of the post-Brexit EU trade deal, the rules apply to vans or other LGVs, vans towing trailers, cars towing trailers.
Operators will have to demonstrate financial standing to run the business with a minimum of £1,600 available for the first vehicle and an extra £800 per additional vehicle. They will also have to retain all safety inspection and maintenance records for a minimum of 15 months.
A further condition of the licence is the appointment of a dedicated transport manager, with a valid Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (TM CPC) qualification.
Who can qualify as a Transport Manager?
The (paid) exam can be taken by drivers and non-drivers of any age. Training courses are available to prepare for the exam. Topics include:
The exam is in two parts (multiple-choice questions and case study questions) and candidates must pass both parts. Only certificates from approved organisations are accepted by the Department for Transport (DfT). Approved suppliers include:
The new licence rules are an additional layer of administrative burden on hauliers, following the introduction of ‘posting declarations’ in February.
A posting declaration registers the operator, driver, driver’s employment details, dates of travel, and the vehicle. A ‘post’ is required for the movement of goods for hire or reward, or for the business’s own use.
Further information about the international operator licence can be found on GOV.UK.