Q1: Can you set out what exactly happens at the minute and what is changing?
A1: Currently, UK hauliers carrying out international journeys must hold a Standard International Operator’s Licence along with a Community Licence for journeys to, from or through the EU.
A Community Licence gives UK hauliers access to unlimited international journeys ‘for hire and reward’ (carrying other people’s goods in return for payment) for operations in the EU. This includes cross trade (between EU countries) and transit across the EU. It also allows for limited cabotage (the haulage of goods within a country by a foreign haulier) within the EU.
There is a wider European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit scheme that allows UK hauliers to carry goods to or through 43 countries (including all EU countries except Cyprus) with a limited number of permits available to the UK. This is little used at the moment as the Community Licence covers haulage to EU member states.
This SI doesn’t implement the final, future arrangements for international road haulage (of course, this is still under negotiation with the EU). The SI regulates the current arrangements for haulage beyond the EU, and the arrangements with the EU as they will be on exit day (in the absence of any other agreements).
This means that:
Where further agreement(s) with the EU or member states are made after this SI has been laid, the SI will be amended in the future to reflect these.
Q2: What system do we have exactly with non-EU countries now and what does this regulation change?
A2: This SI doesn’t change the arrangements we have with non-EU states. For example, we have a bilateral permit agreements with Ukraine — this SI requires permits to haul to Ukraine, in line with that agreements. We have a liberalised agreement with Turkey which doesn’t require permits, so this SI doesn’t require hauliers going to Turkey to carry a permit.
Q3: What impact will these changes have and how will it work in practice (i.e. resourcing/administration?)
A3: The Government is building an IT system to take applications from hauliers and to allocate and issue permits to hauliers. This will operate from November 2018 and be delivered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The costs of this system will be recovered from fees for permits.
For hauliers, there will be some additional administration required in determining whether they need a permit, applying for and carrying the permit on their vehicles. There will be a fee for hauliers to get a permit.
Q4: How will hauliers know what paperwork they will need from November?
A4: The Department is planning a comms campaign before the permits system goes live in November 2018 so that hauliers know whether they need a permit and what they need to do to obtain them.
Q5: What will happen in Northern Ireland?
A5: For Northern Ireland hauliers travelling to mainland Europe, these regulations apply in the same way as they do to GB hauliers.
For Northern Ireland hauliers travelling to Ireland, the regulations do not require a permit to be carried. This is in keeping with the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act where regulations may require permits to be carried by NI hauliers in Ireland only following an agreement with the consent of the Government of Ireland.
Q6: Paragraph 7.1 of the EM refers to a Community Licence – can you explain what this is and how it works?
A6: A Community Licence gives UK hauliers access to unlimited international journeys ‘for hire and reward’ (carrying other people’s goods in return for payment) for operations in the EU. This includes cross trade (between EU countries) and transit across the EU. It also allows for limited cabotage (the haulage of goods within a country by a foreign haulier) within the EU. The Community Licence operates under EU regulations so its use by UK hauliers will stop when we leave the EU.
Q7: Paragraph 12.2 of the EM refers to set up costs – can you clarify if these costs will include the extra resourcing and staff capacity the DVSA will need to issue these permits?
A7: Yes, DVSA have been building an IT system to handle permit applications, and to allocate and issue permits. This will also need resourcing to operate and maintain this system. The set up costs for this are being funded from part of the £75.8 million from HMT to DfT to deliver its EU exit preparations. Once set up, the permits scheme will operate on cost recovery, the costs being met by permit fees charged to hauliers.
Q8: How many permits will be available?
A8: For ECMT permits, in 2019 there will be 984 annual permits and 2,832 monthly permits. Additionally, where bilateral permit agreements are reached, an (as yet unknown) number of permits will be available. Our existing permit agreements all provide more permits than are required by UK hauliers.
Q9: What does it mean in the impact assessment about allowing oversubscribed permits to be issued effectively?
A9: We expect more applications for ECMT permits than are available. Therefore we will have to select which applicants should receive permits. We have set out these principles for allocating permits:
The criteria in regulation 24 are the method we will use to achieve this.
Q10: Can you confirm that these regulations do not implement a permit scheme for haulage to EU Member States?
A10: This SI is not introducing a new permit scheme for haulage to the EU after we have left the EU. This will be down to negotiations. The SI does allow our current permits to be issued to hauliers and used for haulage in the EU in the absence of any other agreements. We will make amending regulations to implement other agreements if required.
Q11: What happens if there is no deal – will that require a revised permit scheme for travel across the EU?
A11: If there is no deal, UK hauliers will be able to use ECMT permits. The UK would also seek to put in place bilateral agreements with EU countries to provide haulage access. Such agreements may require the possession of a permit to allow access to the EU country concerned, in which case they could be issued under these regulations.
Q12: What will happen to EU hauliers entering the UK – will they require a UK permit or will the UK continue to recognise the Community Licence?
A12: These regulations only cover UK vehicles travelling internationally, not EU vehicles travelling to the UK.
Q13: Do the Regulations prohibit the use of a UK registered goods vehicles on specified international journeys unless an international road transport permit is carried on the vehicle? Does the prohibition only apply to the countries listed in the instrument from November 2018 however it does apply to relevant member States of the European Union from exit day should there be no alternative agreement reached with the EU?
A13: Yes. The regulations cover journeys to the relevant non-EU member states from the date regulations come into force (in line with current practice). They apply to the EU from exit day so that ECMT permits may be used to authorise road haulage to the EU (in addition to any other agreements reached).
Q14: What will the fees be?
A14: For an annual ECMT permit there will be a £10 application fee and £123 issuing fee.
For a monthly ECMT permit there will be a £10 application fee and £10 issuing fee.
For a bilateral permit (authorising one journey) there will be a £2 application fee and a £6 issuing fee.
Q15: The IA says that the UK is also a member of the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) multilateral permit scheme which gives the UK up to 1,224 permits for transit to and through 42 other countries (all EU member states except Cyprus). However there will now be 984 annual permits. Why have these figures changed for 2019?
A15: 1,224 is the maximum number of annual ECMT permits we can have. This depends on which type of vehicle uses them. We also have the discretion to swap some annual permits for 12 monthly permits instead. We have chosen to swap the maximum number we can to give us the greatest number of permits we can get, and to give us more flexibility in how we use them. This means we will have 984 annual permits, and 2832 monthly permits.
Q16: In relation to the above question, what has lead the Department to this decision? How was the decision made?
A16: We want to maximise the amount of haulage that can be conducted using ECMT permits, so we have maximised the number available. Taking monthly permits also means that these can be used after exit day (where annual permits would apply from 1st January. It also allows permits to be distributed among a larger number of hauliers.
Q17: Why is legislation needed?
A17: ECMT permits are currently issued under administrative powers and are little used. The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act was introduced as, if there is no deal, we expect there to be thousands of applications for the limited number of permits. Therefore, we need powers to be able to select which hauliers should be allocated permits. The Act and these regulations give us these powers and the processes to do this. They will also be applied to future bilateral agreements if we need to allocate a limited number of permits.
Q18: Have the fees changed?
A18: On fees, we have not increased the fee levels compared with the current fees – we have only split the fees between an application fee and an issuing fee. The fees are intended to operate on cost recovery and the split is to ensure that the costs are covered by all hauliers who use the system, rather than just those who receive permits covering the costs for all hauliers.
Q19: The IA states that if UK hauliers are required to hold a permit for haulage in EU then the regulations would be amended to require permits to the EU. What way would they be amended? Do these regulations as drafted allowed for permits to be issued from exit day in the event of a no deal?
A19: The SI does allow permits to be issued in a no deal. The IA means that, if we make new bilateral agreements with member states, the SI will be amended to reflect the specific details of the new agreements, i.e. exemptions and other very specific details.
Q20: Can you clarify costs?
A20: £4.7 million set up costs from the £75.8 million HMT funding is correct. The £8.4 million running costs is over 5 years, so £1.72 million per year.
Q21: What does the criteria for deciding applications include or focus on?
A21: Criteria are those listed in regulation 24 (a). These focus on how often the permit will be used, what goods the vehicle will carry, the type of vehicle being used, and how much of an applicant’s business is international haulage.
Q22: Why is it 1 January 2019 that the permits become valid?
A22: ECMT permits are valid for a calendar year. The permits we issue under these regulations will first be able to be used on 1st January 2019.
Q23: What will happen to UK hauliers who are not granted a ECMT permit? Will they be unable to carry out their operations?
A23: In a no deal scenario, UK hauliers without a permit will not be able to conduct international haulage. If there is no deal we plan to make bilateral agreements with member states. These may require permits and these regulations would be used to issue those permits, so that hauliers can continue to operate internationally.
Q24: Why have so few ECMT permits been issued to date? Is it because the Community Licence covers haulage to non-EU countries also?
A24: There is very little haulage from the UK to non-EU countries. Much of this is covered by bilateral agreements, so there is little need to use ECMT permits currently.
Q25: Why was the consultation period only six weeks?
A25: For the permits system to be operable from November 2018, we needed to complete the consultation, draft the regulations and progress this through Parliament quickly. Industry have been aware of our plans since the Bill was introduced to Parliament in February 2018. We have also conducted workshops with hauliers and trade bodies and completed user research on the permit system, to make sure the permit scheme is suitable.
Q26: What do haulage operators say about these changes?
A26: Hauliers do not want to have a permit scheme, and certainly not one where the number of permits are limited. However, that is beyond the control of these regulations and will come down to negotiations. However, they are content that we are putting in place a system to issue permits to whatever extent it is needed.