UK hauliers have been given an extension for applying for ECMT permits, which may be their only way of moving goods through the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The deadline, which was previously 21st December 2018, has been extended to 18th January 2019.
The European Conference of Ministers for Transport an intergovernmental organisation within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), designed to agree transport policy between the EU and the rest of the world. Established in 1953, it was developed into the International Transport Forum in 2009.
An ECMT permit allows for road haulage between member countries, sometimes when these journeys are otherwise prohibited under bilateral agreements. While the EU’s contingency plan has proposed allowing UK hauliers to continue transporting goods into the EU until the end of 2019, an ECMT permit could be the only alternative.
“In the case of no deal, it is looking more and more likely that ECMTs may be the only option for UK hauliers travelling to the continent,” said Sarah Laouadi, European policy manager at the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
“The problem with relying on ECMTs is that there is a limit of 984 for UK vehicles, with the permit for each individual vehicle rather than the operator.
“This obviously covers 2019, but I would still advise operators to apply for ECMTs rather than risk it. Also, cross-border trade and cabotage are not covered by ECMTs, so this needs to be considered – make sure you apply, as supply is limited.”
Operators can only make three loaded trips a month, and there are sometimes additional laws that apply within individual ECMT countries. Fines for getting caught out can be as high as €40,000 per vehicle.
Source: The Loadstar