Third Report Contents

Scrutiny of international agreements: Road Transport Agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo

Agreements reported for information

Agreement, done at Sarajevo on 1 December 2020, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina on International Road Transport (CP 364, 2021)2

1.The Agreement on International Road Transport between the UK and Bosnia and Herzegovina (‘the Bosnia and Herzegovina Road Transport Agreement’) was laid on 12 January 2021, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 24 February 2021. It was considered by the International Agreements Committee on 10 February 2021.

2.The UK-Bosnia and Herzegovina Road Transport Agreement covers the transport of goods and passengers by road to and from each country. It replaces the requirement for hauliers from the UK and Bosnia and Herzegovina to possess a permit issued by the European Council of Ministers of Transport (ECMT). The Government’s Explanatory Memorandum (EM)3 states that the Agreement reduces the burden and cost of transporting goods to and from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as hauliers are currently charged £20 by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for a thirty-day ECMT permit, and £133 for a twelve-month permit.

3.The EM4 confirms that consultation took place with the Devolved Administrations and other stakeholders, including Logistics UK, the Road Haulage Association, and the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, and that no significant concerns were raised.

4.The Agreement will enter into force thirty days after both Parties have completed their domestic ratification procedures. It will also apply to Gibraltar and can be extended to Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man through an exchange of notes.

Key provisions of the Agreement

5.Article 3 of the Agreement provides for the carriage of passengers by regular (scheduled) services. The Government’s EM5 states that this provision supplements the multilateral Interbus Agreement, which allows for liberalised occasional coach travel between its contracting Parties, including Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UK.6 In the UK-Bosnia Agreement, authorisation to operate a scheduled service will be granted by each Party’s responsible authority for a specified route and be valid for five years.7

6.Article 4 provides for the transportation of goods and removes the requirement for any permit, licence or authorisation in the following circumstances:

7.Cabotage journeys for passengers and goods, however, require authorisation via a special permit.8 Article 5 provides that special permits will also be required for vehicles whose weight, dimensions or load would not be otherwise lawful on the roads of the other Party.

8.Further provisions include the exemption of taxes and charges levied on passenger and goods vehicles to use the roads in the territory of the other Party. This exemption applies to passengers and goods vehicles that comply with the terms of the Agreement and have temporarily entered the country. Charges will still apply to the purchase of fuel and toll roads. Drivers and crews of goods and passenger vehicles must comply with the national laws of the other Party.

9.We report the Agreement on International Road Transport between the UK and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the House for information.

Agreement, done at Pristina on 11 December 2020, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo on International Road Transport (CP 365, 2021)9

10.The Agreement on International Road Transport between the UK and Kosovo (the ‘Kosovo Road Transport Agreement’) was laid on 12 January 2021, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 24 February 2021. It was considered by the International Agreements Committee on 10 February 2021.

11.The UK-Kosovo Road Transport Agreement covers the commercial carriage of passengers and goods by road to and from each country. Kosovo is not an ECMT10 member country and the Government’s Explanatory Memorandum (EM)11 states there is currently no formal mechanism allowing for the carriage of goods and passengers between the UK and Kosovo. This Agreement will enable commercial vehicles’ access to each country without the need for permits, reducing the burden on hauliers.

12.The EM12 confirms that consultation took place with the Devolved Administrations and other stakeholders, including Logistics UK, the Road Haulage Association, and the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, and that no significant concerns were raised.

13.The Agreement will enter into force thirty days after both Parties have completed their domestic ratification procedures. It will also apply to Gibraltar and can be extended to Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man through an exchange of notes.

Key provisions of the Agreement

14.Article 3 of the Agreement provides for the commercial carriage of passengers by “passenger vehicles”.13 Authorisation will be required by each Party’s responsible authority for services to and from any point within the territory of the other Party, or in transit through the territory of the other party. Authorisation to operate such services will be valid for five years.

15.Article 3(4) of the Agreement sets out that occasional services including tours, short trips and shuttle services will not require an authorisation, but drivers must carry documents with information for national controls—the Interbus brochure book—on board the vehicle.

16.Although Kosovo is not a member of the Interbus Agreement, Department for Transport officials have explained in correspondence that UK and Kosovo representatives agreed in the negotiations to use the Interbus brochure book as a control document, as this is already used internationally.

17.Article 3 also provides for the possibility of extending authorisation to journeys between the other Party and a third country. In these cases, special permits may be required.

18.Article 4 provides for the carriage of goods and removes the requirement for any permit, licence, or authorisation in the following circumstances:

19.Cabotage journeys for passengers and goods, however, require authorisation via a special permit.14 Article 5 provides that special permits may also be required for vehicles whose weight, dimensions or load would not be otherwise lawful on the roads of the other Party.

20.Further provisions include the exemption of taxes and charges levied on passenger and goods vehicles to use the roads in the territory of the other Party. This applies to passengers and goods vehicles that comply with the terms of the Agreement and have temporarily entered the country. Charges will still apply to the purchase of fuel and toll roads. Customs duties and taxes will also apply to any replaced parts of a vehicle repaired in the territory of the other Party. Drivers and the crews of goods and passenger vehicles must comply with the national laws of the other Party.

21.We report the Agreement on International Road Transport between the UK and Kosovo to the House for information.


1 Previous reports on treaties considered by the International Agreements Sub-Committee can be found on the Treaty page of the Parliament website at: https://treaties.parliament.uk/

2 Agreement, done at Sarajevo on 1  December  2020, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina on International Road Transport, CP 364, 2021: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951492/CS_Bosnia_and_Herze_1.2021_Agreement_International_Road_Transport.pdf [accessed 2  February  2021]

3 Department for Transport, Explanatory Memorandum, (12 January 2021), p 1: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukbosnia-and-herzegovina-agreement-on-international-road-transport-cs-bosnia-and-herzegovina-no12021 [accessed 5 February 2021]

4 Ibid., p 3

5 Ibid., p 1

6 The UK became a Party in its own right to the Interbus Agreement on 1 January 2021.

7 Occasional services including tours, short trips and shuttle services are exempt from this authorisation, but vehicles are required to keep the relevant documentation under the Interbus Agreement—the “Interbus Waybill”—on board the vehicle.

8 Cabotage refers to the transport of goods or passengers solely within a single country by a non-resident operator—for example, a UK haulier moving goods between two locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

9 Agreement, done at Pristina on 11  December  2020, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo on International Road Transport, CP  365, 2021: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951501/CS_Kosovo_1.2021_Agreement_Kosovo_International_Road_Transport.pdf [accessed 2  February  2021]

10 European Conference of Ministers of Transport. International road haulage permits are available for journeys between 43 ECMT member countries, which include EU and some non-EU countries, including the UK. UK hauliers, however, do not usually require an ECMT permit for travel to the EU and specified non-EU countries.

11 Department for Transport, Explanatory Memorandum (12 January 2021) p 1: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukkosovo-agreement-on-international-road-transport-kosovo-no12021 [accessed 5 February 2021]

12 Ibid., p 3

13 The Agreement defines a passenger vehicle as one that is “suitable and intended, by virtue of its construction and equipment, to carry more than nine persons, including the driver.”

14 Cabotage refers to the transport of goods or passengers solely within a single country by a non-resident operator—for example, a UK haulier moving goods between two locations in Kosovo.




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