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Haulage and Trailers Act bolsters EU exit preparations

New powers provide reassurance for hauliers to continue planning for a smooth EU exit.

New legislation on cross-border haulage recently (19 July 2018) given Royal Assent marking a significant step in the government’s preparations for exiting the European Union.

The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act will ensure that the UK has the powers it needs to support British hauliers to continue operating internationally after exiting the EU.

As our recent White Paper set out, the government’s overall aim in its negotiations with the EU is to retain reciprocal access for road hauliers.

However, it is possible that the future exit deal could require a form of permitting system and the government needs to have legal frameworks in place to introduce a new administrative structure. This act provides the government with this flexibility.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Royal Assent of the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act is a significant step in our preparations for exiting the European Union.

The haulage industry is at the heart of our trading relationship with the EUand we are confident that we will reach an agreement to maintain the current liberal access that is beneficial to both sides.

But these powers give us the flexibility to have systems in place if a permit system is required and provides reassurance for hauliers to continue planning for a smooth EU exit.

The act comes as part of wider government preparations to ensure the UK can deliver a smooth and orderly EU exit.

The key elements of the act include:

  • establishment of a framework for the regulation and enforcement of existing permit arrangements with non-EU countries which may be used, if necessary, to manage permits arrangement with EU, ensuring hauliers can obtain the necessary paperwork to provide services after the UK leaves the EU
  • the establishment of a trailer registration scheme allowing UK trailers users to meet the registration standards outlined in the 1968 Vienna Convention - this will ensure UK operators driving on the continent can comply with the requirements of those EU countries which require the registration of all trailers travelling on their roads

The DVSA is making progress in creating a permit administration scheme and the DVLA on establishing a trailer registration scheme. It is intended that both will be open for applications later this year.

The department has also begun working with stakeholders to produce a trailer safety report. This follows extensive debate around trailer safety during Parliamentary consideration of the act. The report, scheduled to be published by July 2019, will consider whether mandatory registration and periodic roadworthiness testing should be extended to additional trailer categories.

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