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Brexit and the road transport and haulage sector

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After an uncertain period for road transport and haulage, the UK has now reached an agreement with the EU, bringing some long-awaited clarity for the sector. Paragon’s Head of Transport, Dale Trenam, looks at the impact this is likely to have on the sector. 

“Market access rights for UK and EU road haulage firms can continue, so operators will be able to continue moving goods to, from and through each other’s territories without permit requirements, including making some additional movements within territories. 

However, the number of permitted movements will be limited. UK and EU road hauliers will be allowed to make no more than two journeys within the other’s territory before having to return to their origin territory. Northern Ireland hauliers are permitted to make up to two journeys within Ireland which will enable them to use the UK as a “landbridge” to deliver goods into the EU. 

This is a significant change from the previous regulations, whereby hauliers were able to make multiple journeys within the same territory. Operators of supply chains are advised to assess the impact of these restrictions with the hauliers that they use. 

Road haulage operators must also adhere to standards when travelling between the UK and the EU, including holding a valid driving licence and a Certificate of Professional Competence. There are also guidelines around safety and working conditions such as vehicle weights, driver hours and professional qualifications. 

It’s vital that businesses are aware of and comply to the new standards to minimise delays amongst hauliers at customs. They should also seek the latest government advice on how UK Hauliers can continue to operate successfully under these new guidelines. 

After ongoing Brexit uncertainty and a difficult few weeks for the sector following the problems at the borders prior to Christmas due to Covid-19, it is reassuring to get some clarity around Brexit. This means that these situations can hopefully be avoided in the future and we can continue to trade successfully with our European trading partners.” 

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