There has been much confusion about what will change post-Brexit, and when. This is because of the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement and the European Commission’s contingency measures in the case of a “no-deal”.

Right now, it is important that businesses focus on what is NOT going to change in 2020.

To help those moving goods by road between the UK and Europe, we have produced some clear and simple summary information about exactly what will happen after “Brexit day” on the 31st January – the day that the UK leaves the EU politically.

After Brexit day the UK will no longer participate in the bodies responsible for making laws at an EU level – the European Parliament, Commission or Council.

From Brexit day to at least 31st December 2020 the UK will be in a ‘transition’ period that keeps the UK inside the Single Market and Customs Union.

For road haulage companies there will be no change in 2020 to current rules around:

  • Customs & Border Processes for importing and exporting goods
  • Community licences
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Driving licences
  • Driver and Transport Manager Certificates of Professional Competence,
  • Tachograph legislation
  • Passports and identity documents
  • European Health Cards (EHIC)
  • CMR notes.

UK operators will not need ECMT permits to access non-EU countries in 2020, nor will ECMT permits be needed by UK operators to move goods between EU countries.

Cabotage and cross trade rights and obligations under EU rules remain in place for all EU and UK operators.

There will be a lot of “noise” over the next several months while negotiations take place between the UK and EU Commission.  These will relate to a free trade agreement and the future relationship between the UK and EU from 1 January 2021.

This “noise” will have no bearing on the arrangements in place for the rest of this year.

We can expect to see further infrastructure investment at and around ports in the UK and the EU during 2020 in preparation for customs and border controls that are expected from the 1 January 2021.

During 2020 the UK and EU will define the rules for international road haulage from 1 January 2021. No one knows what these rules will be – everything is up for speculation.

We will, of course, keep members up to date with information useful for planning for 2021 and beyond.


Source: RHA