Haulage Bill passed to ensure smooth transition following Brexit
The UK government aims in Brexit negotiations with the EU to maintain a liberalised access for commercial haulage. Nonetheless, there is a significant chance that the UK will need to introduce a new administrative system if the EU requires a form of permitting system.
With this in mind, on the 7th of February, the Baroness Snugg in the House of Lords introduced the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill, which aims to support UK hauliers' current international operations with issues of permits after the UK leaves the EU.
The bill includes:
- arrangement to enable a permit scheme, ensuring haulier drivers can obtain the necessary paperworks to and from EU countries.
- a trailer registration scheme to ensure that UK haulage operators comply with EU regulations when travelling on their roads
James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), said that UK's logistics industry needs to be reassured that it is business as usual. He supports the bill but hopes never to be used. Similarly Chris Grayling, transport secretary, highlighted the importance of the UK haulage industry, which represents £110 billion of trade between the UK and the EU every year.
"The UK government aims in Brexit negotiations with the EU to maintain a liberalised access for commercial haulage."
Chris argued: "We believe reaching an agreement to continue the liberal access enjoyed by both sides is in everyone’s interests (...) however this Bill ensures we have plans in place if the deal requires a permitting system."
Additionaly to the introduction of the Bill, the UK intends to ratify the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which enables international road travel and increases safety by establishing common traffic rules. While the convention permits registered vehicles and trailers access to foreign roads, the Bill will facilitate UK's international trailer registration system, especially for commercial trailers.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA)'s chief executive, Richard Burnett, said views in the haulage sector had always been very clear: keep a system where licensed UK and EU operators can undertake international road haulage to, from and through the UK and EU without additional limits. However, he believes that on the government's side more clarity was needed: "“The road freight industry needs clarity as soon as possible as regards what is being negotiated."
For more information, visit Commercial Fleet's website.