If you operate light goods vehicles (LGVs) internationally, including to the Republic of Ireland, your business now falls under operator licensing rules.
This came into effect from 21st May 2022. To support operators, the government has recently published a Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing Guide to give an overview of the vehicle operator licensing system.
Introduced as part of the post-Brexit EU trade deal, the new rules apply to vans or other LGVs as well as cars and vans towing trailers. Businesses of every size are affected, including sole traders.
The key changes are that a goods vehicle operator’s licence and a transport manager are now needed to transport goods in LGVs in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland for hire or reward. The changes to the rules affect operators and users of vans and other LGVs more than 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes.
You do not need a goods vehicle operator licence if you only use your vehicles in the UK or you are transporting goods not for hire or reward.
In order to be able to get a goods vehicle operator licence, there are two key elements you need.
- A transport manager.
- A standard international goods vehicle operator licence.
To apply for the licence, you’ll need to have set amounts of finance available which is dependent on how many vehicles you have. You must have £1,600 available for your first vehicle, and an extra £800 per additional vehicle in your fleet.
Your transport manager will become legally responsible for all the vehicles on your operator licence. There are three ways you can get a transport manager:
- apply to get an existing member of staff (including yourself) temporarily recognised as a transport manager
- employ someone with a Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification
- hire in an external qualified transport manager
If you’ll be making journeys in Europe immediately you should also request an interim licence when you apply for your operator licence as it can take up to nine weeks to issue the full licence. The normal application fee is £257, and the interim licence application fee is an additional £68.
You can apply for the LGV operator’s licence here.
Support from Dawsongroup
More details about what your company may need to do can be found in the government guidance. Alternatively, your local Dawsongroup | vans representative can provide you with support.
“It’s easy to be caught out if this is a service you offer on an infrequent basis,” said Simon Ridley, Managing Director of Dawsongroup | vans. “We are happy to help and have expertise in this area as our Group has a heritage based in the regulated transport sector.”