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Prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit

What commercial drivers may need to do to drive in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. In the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, commercial drivers will need extra documentation to drive in the EU and EEA. UK commercial drivers and haulage companies transporting goods abroad Community licences and ECMT permits Currently, UK lorry drivers carrying out international journeys must have a standard international operator’s licence along with a community licence for journeys to, from or through the EU and EEA. Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans) and drivers operating on own account (carrying their own goods) do not need an international operator’s licence or Driver CPC. From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU exit deal, EU and EEA countries may not recognise UK issued community licences. In those circumstances, the government is confident that it would be able to negotiate new or reinstate old bilateral agreements with EU countries to provide haulage access. However, transport managers may wish to apply for ECMT international haulage permits for 2019. ECMT permits will enable UK operators to drive in the EU and EEA (except Cyprus) if UK issued community licences are not recognised. ECMT permits are also recognised in 15 other countries. Regulations were passed through Parliament in November 2018 which confirm that the UK government does not require Northern Ireland hauliers to carry permits when on international journeys to, or through Ireland. This is in keeping with our position in the Road Haulage and Trailer Registration Act that...

DVSA Operator Licence On Line

Are you a #haulier? Make sure you’ve created a vehicle operator licence online account if you don’t already have one, so you can apply for annual permits to operate in the EU after 29 March 2019.

Office of the Traffic Commissioner Key issues from public inquiry

Key issues from public inquiry A new series designed to help you maintain and promote O licence compliance Every week traffic commissioners hold public inquiries into a variety of issues. For operators who are compliant, like you, it’s important to see what action traffic commissioners take to make sure there’s fair competition in the industry. But these cases also offer guidance on staying compliant. In a new series of bulletins, we’re going to take a look at some of the key issues raised in public inquiries. In this first one, we offer guidance on downloading and driver defect reporting. Downloading vehicle units and driver cards • Decide what period is adequate within the maximum • Take a risk based approach • Consider factors that might increase risk, such as drivers who are away from base, drivers on tight schedules and drivers with a history of offences • When the period for driver cards is exceeded there’s a chance data will be overwritten Driver defect reporting • Pay close attention to tachograph records which start with immediate driving. They’re showing you drivers who don’t do walk round checks or record them properly. It means the records are incomplete • Professional drivers should be in the habit of putting their card in the slot immediately and selecting “other work” • It should be automatic – failing to put the card in the slot could be a deliberate act • Some drivers seek to hide a bit of driving, or other work, at the start of the day in case there are problems later There’s further information on drivers’ hours and vehicle...

Post-Brexit lorry permits: Allocation guidance published

Post-Brexit lorry permits: allocation guidance published We’ve published guidance on how ECMT permits will be allocated to drivers and operators, in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Applications for permits will open on Monday 26 November 2018. You’ll need to be registered on the Vehicle Operator Licensing system to apply. Sign up for updates You can register for alerts on GOV.UK to get updates on driving in the EU after our exit from the EU on 29 March...

Research at DVLA

An overview of research being undertaken by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). DVLA is responsible for managing the collection of data holding over 48 million driver records and over 40 million vehicle records. The agency continues to hold the Customer Service Excellence standard for its service to customers. The DVLA has conducted user research since 2008 using a wide range of research methods, from traditional surveys to in-depth interviews, focus groups and targeted usability or prototype testing. Technology, customer behaviour and the way they offer their services has changed significantly during this time they know from our customers that they want modern processes which allow increased flexibility in the way services are delivered. At the DVLA they’re committed to developing excellent services for their customers that are both meaningful to them, and easy to use. In order to properly understand what the customers expect from DVLA services they carry out extensive research, some of which can be found below. Information about research projects funded by the department is available at research at DVLA. Current work DVLA are currently working on these surveys: • DVLA motoring • view vehicle record fleets • view driving licence and share driving licence • plug-in vehicle grant • monthly customer satisfaction • mail seeding exercise • driver licence online • Blue Badge scheme • workplace charging scheme voucher (beta) • driver validation services (DVS) • driving licence services • assessing fitness to drive • ‘Your DVLA’ • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) The DVLA works closely with...

Senior Traffic Commissioner reminds transport managers and operators that they need to keep up to date

Senior Traffic Commissioner reminds transport managers and operators that they need to keep up to date, key industry post holders (Directors, Transport Manager’s, Owner Operators) need to be effective in managing safety compliance. The Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Richard Turfitt, has reinforced the importance of continuous professional development for those responsible for managing haulage, bus and coach operations. Introducing the revised Statutory Documents, Mr Turfitt said responsible persons such as transport managers should be proactive in their efforts to keep up to date and make sure they are effective in their roles. He explains that transport managers and other responsible persons should be able to demonstrate to traffic commissioners that they are able to meet their statutory responsibilities through professional development, when: • they’ve not been acting for an operator in the last five years • their qualification is more than 10 years old • their ability to exercise continuous and effective management is under consideration at a Public Inquiry The Senior Traffic Commissioner has revised several other Statutory Documents, following a consultation, which closed in August. There is clearer guidance on what will happen if some-one uses an operator’s licence without authority (the practice of ‘fronting’), greater emphasis on the importance of accurate applications, a new section on support for tribunal users, updated guidance on what happens when periods of grace expire and a new section on driver employment status. Mr Turfitt said: “It is important that we get the balance right, so that irresponsible people, who ignore the safety of other road users, do not put compliant businesses at a disadvantage. These documents demonstrate our...

Banned operator handed further 10 year disqualification

Banned operator handed further 10 year disqualification Traffic Commissioner says limited company was set up with the sole purpose of hiding operator’s true role What happens when a bad operator is banned from running vehicles? It means they can’t apply for or get another licence. In fact, it’s a criminal offence to do so. A small minority of disqualified operators do attempt to continue operating. They take a chance and try to get round the ban. Often they’re not named on documents and don’t show up when the licence application is made. Luckily, staff working for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner scrutinise applications to identify links and associations to banned operators. This stops them from getting back in under the radar. But sometimes banned operators draw attention to themselves. In a recent case, a disqualified operator was featured in a commercial vehicle magazine. It gave the impression that he was the operator and employer of a driver who was named in the article. The director of the company wasn’t mentioned at all. That wasn’t the only thing to gave it away. The transport manager said he’d been contacted by the banned operator and had never met company director. And when DVSA told the director they suspected he wasn’t the genuine operator, he responded with “no comment”. This led Traffic Commissioner Nick Jones to say the banned operator and company director had been caught out as “dishonest...

Advice for hauliers operating in EU countries

Advice for hauliers operating in EU countries Guidance issued on permit application scheme The ECMT international road haulage permit system allows journeys between 43 member countries. Currently, the UK issues Community Licences to cover international journeys, which are recognised in the EU. Preparations have been made in case ECMT permits are needed for road haulage operations to the EU after March 2019. The number of permits available will be limited and a permit needs to be carried in each vehicle that’s making an international journey. In order to apply for an annual ECMT permit, you need to be registered via the Vehicle Operator Licensing System (VOL) by 12 November 2018. Applications for permits can be made between 26 November and 21 December. There will also be some monthly ECMT permits available next year. Applications for these will open at a later...

Post-Brexit lorry permits: what you need to know

Post-Brexit lorry permits: what you need to know The Government’s ambition is to reach an agreement with the EU to maintain existing liberal access for commercial hauliers. So you can prepare contingency plans for the unlikely event of a “no deal”, you can apply for an ECMT permit to continue working in the EU. Applications open on 26 November 2018. You’ll need to be registered on the Vehicle Operator Licensing system to apply. Read our latest Moving On blog post and our guidance on GOV.UK to find out more. Sign up for updates Register for alerts on GOV.UK to get...

Two year ban for transport manager who fundamentally misunderstood his responsibilities

Two year ban for transport manager who fundamentally misunderstood his responsibilities CPC holder says he had concerns over operations but “hoped things would change” If your advice about the safety of vehicles or drivers is being ignored, what should you do? If you know there’s a conflict between winning customers and being compliant, how should you respond? At a recent public inquiry, North West Traffic Commissioner Simon Evans said it’s “scarcely possible” for any transport manager to have continuing, effective control over transport operations in these circumstances. He was dealing with a CPC holder who said he’d spoken to his company director about vehicles being operated with AdBlue emulators. But the cheat devices weren’t removed immediately. Despite the transport manager knowing about this, he only took action himself a year later – by resigning from the role to take up another position in the business. He had hoped things would change before then. The Traffic Commissioner outlined the actions which should take place in this situation: First, notify the operator in writing. If the matter is not resolved, take appropriate action. In certain cases, this may include resigning, rather than staying on the licence and attempting to carry out the required duties when being prevented from doing so by an employer. For further details on the responsibilities of transport managers and what traffic commissioners expect, read our...