The government has advised logistics businesses and users of logistics to consider alternative modes of transport to road haulage in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In guidance published by the DfT, the government admitted that there is likely to be new requirements at borders with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal.

The DfT also advised that it would be possible that the EU would require checks at EU ports that could create delays and also affect routes. It did not say if this these arrangements would be reciprocated for inbound traffic from the EU to the UK.

What the DfT described as “agrifood goods” may not be able to enter the EU except via a port with a Border Inspection Post, it also warned.

Hauliers and businesses should consider what contingency plans they need to have in place for the movement of goods if there are delays at ports, the DfT advised. This may include consideration of:

  • alternative routes to move goods by roll-on-roll-off haulage
  • alternative modes of transportation, such as containerisation or unaccompanied trailers
  • appropriate arrangements to allow for disruption to supply chains

Hauliers should also consider whether they need permits to haul goods internationally. Up to 984 annual Euro-6 ECMT permits, 2,592 monthly Euro6 ECMT permits and 240 monthly Euro-5 ECMT permits are available.

The DfT expects the DVSA to be taking applications for ECMT permits from November 2018 and that demand “will significantly exceed supply”.

Permits will not be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, but under the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act 2018, which takes into account: intensity of use; the industrial sector in which the haulier operates; vehicle emissions and existing international business.

Registration for trailers will be required only for trailers travelling to, or through, a foreign country that has ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention.

Furthermore In a no-deal scenario, possession of a UK-issued Driver CPC would, in practice the DfT countered, continue to allow a UK driver to drive a UK truck in the EU when using an ECMT permit.

What the associations think

richard bunrtt

Richard Burnett (pictured), chief executive at the RHA, said that it was too-little, too-late, and added that he was astounded by the suggestion that hauliers should consider alternative modes of transport to move goods between the UK and the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Burnett also said that he was very concerned that there was no mention of plans for freight movements between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy at the FTA, said that the no-deal notice regarding road haulage was overdue. “These notices… demonstrate that contingency agreements are needed to at least protect basic transport connectivity between the UK and the EU,” she said.