Brexit update: Change to freight licences due this week


HMRC has announced major changes to international freight licenses, which will come into effect later this week (21st May). Ahead of the new regulations, national same day courier service Speedy Freight is advising business owners to check their licenses now or face potential disruption.

The UK government has confirmed that from 21st May 2022, UK freight drivers operating Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) will need an international operator’s license to transport goods in Europe.

The new license is part of a continued roll out of new border control policies resulting from the UK’s exit from Europe. It will be required by all UK freight businesses operating LGVs, including vans and cars with trailers over 2.5 tones to transport goods in Europe.

Currently, drivers need a HGV qualification and an operating (O) license in order to transport goods within the UK. While previously the O license also covered transporting goods in Europe, from Saturday 21st May UK hauliers must now have an ‘international goods vehicle operator license, as well as an O license to operate in Europe.

With just a couple of weeks until the changes come into effect, Shona Brown, Network Service Manager and resident Brexit expert at same day courier brand Speedy Freight is urging businesses prepare for the new regulations.

Shona Brown, Network Service Manager at Speedy Freight said: “The new license is a major change for UK freight businesses operating in Europe.

“The good news is, if you already have an operator’s license, you can apply for the international operator’s license and add it on to your existing license. While it may take some time to be approved, if you apply now you should be able to continue operating from May 21st.

“In order to apply for an international operator’s license, you must have an approved O license. This means if you don’t already have an O license you must apply for one now.

“You can apply for a £68 interim license via the HMRC website now, however this is only a temporary and you will still need to an apply for an O license once this expires.

“As part of your application, you will also need to have a qualified transport manager on your team and provide bank statements proving you have the finances to run your business.

“If I have one piece of advice for businesses, it’s that you need to act fast and secure your licenses or you will face delays.”

Currently there is a £254 fee to apply for a national operating license, plus a further £254 in order to make a change to an existing license, including applying for an international operating license. 

Businesses are also required to pay a £449 licensing fee, which must be renewed every 5 years.

The news comes after HMRC announced it will be delaying upcoming border controls originally due for July.

The planned changes included further Sanitary and Phytosanitary checks, a requirement for safety and security declarations as well as further health and SPS checks on EU imports and prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU.

Despite navigating continued challenges to the industry, brought on by post Brexit regulation changes and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Speedy Freight has had a strong start to 2022.

As well as readying their clients for the new border policy changes, the brand is continuing to expand their services in both the UK and in Europe. Between their support for Blue Chip companies and other third-party logistics firms, the brand has achieved a record compound growth of 39% and looks forward to a busy second half of the year.

Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter