Hauliers are racing to grab a share of the permits that will allow them to continue to operate in Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit outcome.

The bidding kicked off this week (26 November) with just 984 annual European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits on offer. Hauliers will not be able to travel in Europe without the ECMT permits in their trucks on a per truck basis, if the UK crashes out of Europe.

With an estimated 38,000-plus UK registered trucks currently plying between the UK and the EU, the RHA is warning that over 95% will not qualify for an ECMT permit.

This warning was echoed by DfT last month when it warned hauliers that demand for the permits will “significantly exceed supply”.

ECMT permits are assigned by the EC on a quota system. The UK’s quota for 2019 is 984 annual ECMT permits for Euro-6 trucks, 2,592 monthly Euro-6 ECMT permits and 240 monthly Euro-5 ECMT permits. Bidding for the monthly permits will begin early next year.

Read more

Some hauliers are concerned that EMCT permits will be allocated to companies that misrepresent the number of trips they make to Europe or who use European subcontractors.

One told MT: “I know of hauliers that have stopped using their subcontractors on their European routes and sent their own trucks over so they can boost the number of journeys they make on their application form.

"And what about those large international companies here that never send their own trucks over? Will they be getting licences they don’t really need? I just hope whoever is assessing these applications has taken the trouble to understand how this industry is run.”

RHA MD of policy Rod McKenzie told MT: “I don’t think the industry has a great deal of faith in the government being able to correctly allocate the limited number of permits available.”

He added: “This is a lorry lottery and like all lotteries most people will lose out so it will not be a happy situation if we end up in a no-deal Brexit.”

Hauliers can apply for annual ECMT permits from today until 21 December 2018.

Applicants will be judged on the intensity of use of the permit, the industrial sector in which the haulier operates, the level of vehicle emissions and whether the haulier has existing international business, with a few permits granted randomly to ensure a range of operator sizes are included.

Image: Shutterstock