The current UK goods vehicle operator licensing regime covers vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, e.g. lorries and larger public service vehicles (PSVs), such as buses.
As part of the UK-EU negotiations and subsequent Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK has agreed to extend operator licensing requirements to include goods vehicles weighing more than 2.5 tonnes up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (including combined weight with a trailer) that travel internationally for hire and reward purposes.
This change is due to come in from 21st May 2022 and all operators being brought into scope of operating licensing by these new requirements will be required to apply for a standard international licence.
To obtain a licence operators will need to meet financial standing requirements, have maintenance regimes in place, will need to appoint a qualified transport manager and from 1st July 2026, the EU Mobility Package will require the fitting and use of tachographs, the recording of driving and working time and compliance with the EU drivers’ hours rules.
In addition there are changes to “driver posting” rules and from 2nd February 2022, if you are planning to operate a goods vehicle on a journey within the EU, you will need to post information about the driver and the planned journey in advance, using an EU-wide IT system, which the UK will also be using to reduce the administrative burden and duplication for business. In addition to the information on the driver and the journey being undertaken, countries where goods are loaded or unloaded may also request further information about the transport operation being made.
The Department for Transport has launched a consultation on these changes and how they will be implemented. You can find out more and respond to the consultation on the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-uk-operator-licensing-regime-and-arrangements-for-the-temporary-posting-of-workers-in-the-uk-and-eu-request-for-evidence
Note: These changes only affect international journeys there are no new operator licensing requirements on businesses that operate LGVs weighing between 2.5 tonnes and 3.5 tonnes exclusively within the UK.