Drivers will require new license to import from the EU

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Van drivers with imported goods will be required to have a new international operating license if they wish to travel back and forth to the EU, the government has announced. 

According to the new update, anyone driving a van, a light commercial vehicle or any car towing a trailer will be required to have a “goods vehicle operator licence” to enter the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein from May 2022. 

The licencing restriction will come into force with additional checks at Dover and other ports, that were initially delayed in 2021 due to lack of preparation for Brexit. 

READ MORE: Brexit is harming supply chain, claims French minister

Drivers from smaller suppliers, companies or solo operations are expected to face a significant burden as the license will cost up to £1,100. 

In addition, drivers will need an assigned staff member to serve as a “transport manager” to ensure the driver follows Brexit industry regulations and tax payments in the EU. 

This comes after the registration for a goods vehicle movement service (GVMS) for EU exporters, which is set to apply custom controls to all goods from 1 January. 

From the new year exporters of agrifoods from the EU will have to notify British authorities to carry out physical checks on fresh food, products of animals origin, and plants. 

The new checks have been delayed three times for the EU but are expected to be phased in over 2022, however they will continue to be delayed for importers from Ireland. 

“Brexit was challenging initially for hauliers with loads delayed and lots of frustration but as ever with logistics, people have found their way. The big challenge for 2022 is how ready our EU counterparts will be for entry into GB.” Road Haulage Association managing director of policy and public affairs Rod McKenzie said.

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