• The Department for Transport has opened advice sites at motorway service stations and truck stops where hauliers and drivers of HGVs can get advice on the changes taking place from 1st January 2021.

    There’s one site in Scotland, at Lockerbie Lorry Park and one in Wales, at RoadKing Holyhead Truck Stop. The remaining 43 sites are spread across England at services stations and truck stops, including Ashford International Truck Stop, Donington Park and Thurrock Services. A map showing the location of all sites can be found on the Government’s website. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations

    Ready to cross the border

    Hauliers will be able to use the ‘check a HGV is ready to cross the border’ service to prove that it has the correct EU import and commodities documents for the goods being carried.

    Using the service is mandatory for HGVs travelling via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, with hauliers under threat of a £300 fine if they don’t use the service in order to get a ‘Kent Access Permit’ before entering Kent.

    The service is optional when using all other GB ports.

    According to the Government, the service will be fully operational in December 2020.

    Key Requirements

    A Great Britain (GB) sticker must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier. (A GB sticker is not required when driving in Ireland).

    Vehicle and trailer insurance — a ‘green card’ is proof of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Visit the Government’s website for full details of insurance requirements.

    Hauliers are being urged to contact vehicle insurance providers at least 6 weeks before the green card is required.

    Road accidents

    Drivers involved in a road accident in an EU country, should in the first instance contact their insurer. From 1 January 2021, any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened and the claim may have to be made in the local language. Compensation may not be available in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.

    No clarity yet on International Driver Permits

    The Government states that drivers may also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU and EEA countries from 1 January 2021 and that the type of IDP required will depend on the countries. However, as of November 30th, the government’s website states that further clarity on this is currently unavailable.

    Drivers still need to carry a UK driving licence.

    Drivers with a UK driving licence will not need an IDP to drive in Ireland.

    IDPs are available over the counter at the Post Office and cost £5.50.

    Driver CPC for lorry drivers

    A Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification is required to drive a lorry professionally in the UK, the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    The following countries use a Driver CPC card as proof that drivers have the qualification:

    Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg (for non-resident drivers only), Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

    Countries that use code 95 on the driving licence as proof that drivers have the qualification

    Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg (for resident drivers only), Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Slovenia.

    Passports

    On the day of travel, a driver’s passport must:

    • have at least 6 months left
    • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

    These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport if it’s valid for the length of your stay.

    Visa Proposals

    According to European Commission proposals, drivers will not need a visa for short trips, and can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Once the rules are confirmed, information about how to get a visa will be on each country’s travel advice page.

    Healthcare

    European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) may not be valid from 1 January 2021.

    Full details available at the Government’s website. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations