There will be further changes to the requirements for operators travelling with vans to the EU from May 2022.
Operators ravelling with vans and other LGVs in the EU must have an International Operator’s Licence, and appoint a designated transport manager.
International Operator’s Licence
What is an International Operator’s Licence?
An International Operator’s Licence is the standard international goods vehicle operator licence required to transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland From 21 May 2022. It is a new requirement that is part of the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Which operators need an International Operator’s Licence?
According to Gov.uk’s Brexit guidance “operators or users of vans or other light goods vehicles over 2.5 tonnes and up to 3.5 tonnes in weight for hire and reward” that travel to the EU will be required to have an International Operator’s Licence. This may include operators such as transport companies and couriers.
If you are based in Great Britain or Northern Ireland and use:
- Vans or other light goods vehicles (LGVs) or light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes)
- Vans towing trailers with a gross train weight (GTW) over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes
- Cars towing trailers with a GTW over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes.
AND you transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland on a commercial basis (for ‘hire or reward’).
What if you already have a goods vehicle operator licence?
If you already have a goods vehicle operator licence, you can add these vehicles to your existing licence.
If not, and the new rules apply to you, you will need to get a goods vehicle operator licence for the first time.
How do you get an International Operator’s Licence?
You will need to apply for a standard international licence via the Gov.uk website.
The goods vehicle operator licence application costs £257.
The licence costs £401, with a continuation fee of £401 every 5 years to keep your licence active.
You must also be able to prove by law that you have access to enough finance to run your business.
The exact amount required depends on your number of vehicles, with £1,600 for the first vehicle in your fleet and £800 per additional vehicle.
Transport manager requirement
International Operator’s Licence also requires you to appoint a designated transport manager with a valid Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (TM CPC) qualification.
The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain or the Transport Regulation Unit in Northern Ireland will be able to take action against you if you do not get a licence.
Designated transport managers
Who is a designated transport manager?
Your application for an operator licence includes the requirement to appoint a designated transport manager.
You will need to list the name of a transport manager qualified with a valid CPC.
Transport managers are responsible for:
- Managing your team of drivers and administration staff
- Ensuring sure drivers follow company and industry regulations
- Ensuring drivers have valid licences and do not speed or break the drivers’ hours rules
- Arranging vehicle maintenance, MOTs, tax payments, and insurance
- Ensuring vehicles are properly maintained
- Managing loads so that vehicles are loaded safely and not overloaded
- Planning routes and scheduling delivery times
- Organising vehicle replacements
- Ensuring the vehicle operator does not break safety rules.
How to appoint a designated transport manager?
There are three key options for operators appointing a designated transport manager, if you do not already have one:
Get an existing member of staff temporarily recognised as a transport manager
This may also include yourself. Applicants cannot already have the transport manager CPC qualification, and they must have at least 10 years of experience managing fleets of vehicles before 20 August 2020.
As part of their application, their experience will be checked. Successful applicants can then be added to your goods vehicle operator licence application.
They will be treated as having the transport manager CPC qualification until 21 May 2025, after which they’ll need to pass the CPC qualification by 21 May 2025 to continue being a transport manager.
Employ someone with a transport manager qualification
Another option is to simply employ someone who already has a transport manager CPC qualification.
You must ensure they keep up a high-quality professional knowledge of transport industry rules and policies.
Hire in an external transport manager
You can also ‘hire in’ an external transport manager as a contractor, to act as your transport manager.
To do this, you must have a contract with them that sets out the tasks they’ll perform as your transport manager.
External transport managers can only work for a maximum of four vehicle operators (including you), managing no more than 50 vehicles in total across all the operators.