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  • Mark Salisbury

Operating light goods vehicles in Europe?

Updated: May 11, 2023

New EU rules from 21 May 2022, will mean that operators or users of vans and other light goods vehicles over 2.5 tonnes and up to 3.5 tonnes in weight that transport goods for hire and reward from the UK into, or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, will need to obtain an International Operators’ Licence. Find out about the new rules.

This requirement applies to:

  • vans or other light goods vehicles (sometimes called ‘light commercial vehicles’)

  • vans towing trailers

  • cars towing trailers

You’ll also need to have a qualified transport manager.

If you do not have the qualification, you might be able to be temporarily recognised as a transport manager if you have enough experience.

Alternatively, if you already have a goods vehicle operator licence, you’ll need to add these extra vehicles to your licence.

You can make the process easier by using the service on GOV.UK to apply to be recognised as a temporary transport manager if you have at least 10 years’ experience of managing fleets of vehicles.

Don’t forget to make posting declarations for journeys to the EU

Don't forget that if you’re transporting goods between two points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway for commercial purposes, (known as cabotage or cross trade) from 2 February 2022, you now must make a “posting declaration”, which means registering the operator, driver, driver employment details, dates of travel, and the vehicle used.

This could be using HGVs, vans or other light goods vehicles of any size, or cars, whether or not you’re towing a trailer. It will apply if you’re moving the goods for hire or reward, or for your own business’ use.



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