UK and Irish governments are set to meet next month to discuss cabotage regulations after intense lobbying from Irish hauliers.

For years hauliers in both countries have delivered trailers to ports, where they were collected for inward delivery by a driver working in that country. This practice falls foul of cabotage rules introduced in 2010 which say that an international driver can only carry out three domestic jobs within seven days once he has delivered his load. The dropped trailers constitute domestic loads.

"We hope for an agreement that allows dropped trailers at west of England and the east of Ireland ports to be considered as international loads," says Eoin Gavin, Irish Road Haulage Association president.

Wexford- based haulier Nolan Transport tells MT the regulations cost anywhere between €100 to €400 (£83- £333)extra per load. "The law does not serve British merchants buying Irish goods and it does not serve Irish exporters," says MD Richard Nolan.