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International road haulage permits: ECMT permits 2021
Explains criteria for allocating ECMT permits and what hauliers need to do.

Details

 

If you carry goods to, from or through the EU, new rules will be in place from 1 January 2021.

You might need ECMT permits for some journeys to or through the EU from 1 January 2021.


Documents

 

International road haulage permits: ECMT permits 2021

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Contents

 

  1. Applying for an annual ECMT permit
  2. Use of criteria to allocate permits
  3. How the allocation process works
  4. Additional documentation
  5. Print or save as PDF

 

If you carry goods to, from or through the EU, new rules will be in place from 1 January 2021.

You might need ECMT permits for some journeys to or through the EU from 1 January 2021. You should apply for these in case they’re needed. This page will be updated if anything changes.

 

Applying for an annual ECMT permit

 

You will be able to apply for permits from November 2.

You will need a Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) account to apply. Please check that you can log into your VOL account and your contact details are up to date.

Rules governing the carriage of goods between the UK and the EU (market access) are changing. For up to date information on which journeys need ECMT permits in 2021 check www.gov.uk/dvsa/ecmt-permits.

The digital application system sets out all the information you need to apply for an ECMT permit but you may find it helpful to consider the points below before you start your application.

 

Check if you can apply for a permit

 

To apply for a permit, you must hold a valid Standard International or Restricted Goods Operator Licence. You will still be required to have a valid Operator’s licence in all scenarios. A restricted licence allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods.

If you choose to apply under your Restricted Goods Operator licence, you will need to comply with the International Quality Charter. This is liable to include having a Transport Manager and increased financial standing. The most straightforward way to demonstrate this is to upgrade your restricted licence to a standard licence before using an ECMT permit.

If you have more than one Operator Licence (for example, because you have multiple bases), decide which of your current valid Standard International or Restricted Goods Operator licence(s) you wish to use when applying for an ECMT International Road Haulage Permit. Each licence can apply for ECMT permits. Base this decision on your actual business requirements.

 

What information do I need to apply for a permit?

 

When you apply for a permit you will need to decide how many permits you need and which Euro class permit you are applying for. You can only apply for one type of Euro class on each operator licence. Only a small number of Euro V permits will be available.

You will also need to provide information about your business, this is so that your application can be scored in the event that demand for permits exceeds the number available. Read about how the allocation process works.

You will be asked to provide information about the types of journeys you make and whether you travel to or through countries that restrict the use of ECMT permits.

 

Application fee

 

When applying for annual ECMT permits, there is a non-refundable application fee of £10 per permit. If you are allocated and accept a permit, you will need to pay an additional issuing fee of £123 per permit.

 

Use of criteria to allocate permits

 

This section explains how and why criteria are used to score permit applications, along with the information you need to provide during the application process. Remember, criteria are only used if a permit application window is oversubscribed.

 

Principles

 

The criteria that must be considered are set out in legislation and are intended to maximise the amount of goods being moved and to protect the interests of UK operators.

 

We therefore ask you to provide the following information as part of your permit application:

  • exhaust emissions level of your vehicle (Euro V or VI)
  • number of annual international journeys
  • proportion of your haulage that is international
  • the goods you carry

 

The information you provide in your application will determine whether you will be allocated a permit.

These criteria have been selected as they ensure that we get the maximum number of permits we can and that we get the greatest benefits for the UK economy from these permits, while being fair and equitable to UK hauliers.

The regulations also provide for the use of random selection in addition to the above criteria. This element is used to distinguish between multiple permits applied for by an individual operator and to ensure permits are allocated across a greater spread of the haulage sector.

We will also ask you about the type of journeys you make; this information is not used to score applications but means that if market access rules are confirmed, we will be able to identify hauliers who may still need ECMT permits for certain journeys.

 

Verification of business operations

 

Your permit application will ask for details of your businesses operations. You must provide true and accurate information. We may contact you to verify the information you have provided so you must be able to demonstrate that the information is accurate. If you do not, you may lose any permits you have been allocated and may be prosecuted. DVSA will undertake an assessment of applications and supporting records.

 

Exhaust Emissions Level

 

Most permits are for use only in Euro VI vehicles. The government has decided, in consultation with industry, to make a small proportion of permits available for use in Euro V vehicles. You can only apply for one type of permit per operator licence. Permits cannot be used in Euro IV vehicles.

 

Why is this criterion being used?

 

ECMT permits may only be used by vehicles of specific vehicle emissions standards. The total number of ECMT permits available to UK hauliers depends on the emissions standard of the vehicle used. To maximise the number of ECMT permits for UK hauliers following Brexit, the majority of permits available can only be used by vehicles of the Euro VI emissions standard.

A maximum of 10% of the UK’s quota of permits will be for use in Euro V vehicles in 2021. You will have the choice when applying whether you want to apply for Euro V or Euro VI permits. As there are very limited numbers of Euro V permits you should only apply for this type of permit if you have no access to a Euro VI vehicle.

 

What do I need to do?

 

Decide whether you want to apply for Euro V or Euro VI permits and how many permits you need. If you don’t know the emissions standard of your vehicle, you can find this out directly from your vehicle manufacturer or from the DVSA.

You should only apply for the number of permits you need. Permits are transferrable between vehicles and between operator licences held by the same operator, but must be carried in the vehicle when it is travelling on an international journey. The number of permits required is likely to be roughly equal to the maximum number of vehicles you have working in the EU at any one time. If you apply for more than this then you are reducing the number of international journeys that can be made per permit, so are reducing your chances of being allocated a permit.

 

Number of international journeys made during 2019

 

You will be asked to provide the annual number of international journeys made using the operator licence you are applying for permits under. This is to measure how frequently an operator hauls goods internationally and therefore how often we expect a permit to be used. For this application window, you should use the 12-month period 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019. This is because COVID 19 has substantially impacted international haulage movements during 2020. DVSA will check the data you provide.

 

Why is this criterion being used?

 

To maximise the amount of goods that can be hauled by UK hauliers, we want to maximise the number of journeys UK hauliers will make using permits. Therefore, we will prioritise applications from hauliers who make the most international journeys.

Based on the information you provide, we will calculate how many international journeys could be made per permit applied for.

 

What do I need to do?

 

Calculate how many international journeys you made in 2019 using your chosen goods operator licence. If you did not operate throughout 2019, for example you’re a new operator, you may use data from 2020.

If you are a Northern Ireland operator licensed by the Department for Infrastructure you must exclude journeys made between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

These journeys are not counted as international journeys because, even in the absence of a Free Trade Agreement, we are confident of putting in place other arrangements to allow the carriage of goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland without the need for an ECMT permit.

 

When calculating the number of international journeys:

  • one journey is the ‘round trip’ including the outward and return journey, even if you pick up and drop off goods at different points or places during this journey
  • you need to tell us about all journeys go to or pass through an EU member state
  • remember to exclude all journeys from Northern Ireland to Ireland

 

Proportion of your haulage journeys that are international

 

You will be asked to provide the percentage of journeys you made during 2019 using your specified operator licence which were international journeys. This is the number of international journeys made divided by the total number of journeys (international plus domestic journeys).

 

Why is this criterion being used?

 

A big concern for hauliers is whether they will be allocated permits. This is important for hauliers whose operations are dependent on international haulage. Those hauliers who have been able to specialise in the international freight business, despite low-cost competition from some foreign hauliers, are often transporting the most high value economic loads and ones where there is a particular benefit from the high quality service offered by specialist UK hauliers. We want the allocation criteria to protect any strategic national interests for the UK and protect the interests of UK operators. Therefore, we will prioritise hauliers with a greater proportion of international business when allocating permits.

 

You will be asked what proportion of your total journeys are international journeys; you’ll need to select one of the following options:

  • less than 60%,
  • between 60% and 90%
  • more than 90%

 

What do I need to do?

 

Calculate what percentage of journeys made during 2019 were international using your specified operator licence. This is the number of international journeys made compared to the total number of journeys (international plus domestic journeys).

For example, if you completed 300 journeys in 2019 using your specified operator licence and 120 of these journeys were international journeys, then less than 60% of your journeys were international journeys. (120 ÷ 300 = 40%).

 

The goods you carry

 

You will be asked which type of goods you mainly carry on international journeys.

 

Why is this criterion being used?

 

We want to ensure all sectors of the economy have hauliers available to move their goods. To achieve this, a proportion of the available permits can be allocated across each sector, although the majority of permits will be allocated to hauliers who do not specialise in one particular sector. We would only need to use this provision if market access is severely restricted but we ask you to provide this information upfront in the unlikely event that it is needed.

 

The sectors are listed below.

  • food products
  • unrefined fuels
  • metals
  • textiles
  • wood
  • refined fuels
  • chemicals
  • other non-metallic mineral products
  • transport goods and machinery
  • furniture
  • waste and raw materials
  • mail
  • none / more than one of these sectors

 

What do I need to do?

 

If you mainly transport goods in one of these sectors you will be able to select the category which represents the main bulk of your international journeys. If you generally carry other or mixed sectors you should select the category “None/more than one of these sectors” on the digital application system.

 

Type of journey conducted

 

You will be asked to confirm if your journeys typically include cross trade, transit or both.

 
Why is this criterion being used?

 

Depending on the market access arrangements between the UK and the EU, only some types of journeys may require an ECMT permit. By providing information on the journey types you make, we can identify hauliers that may still need ECMT permits if arrangements are agreed for other journeys.

 
What do I need to do?

 

Consider if your journeys typically include cross trade, transit or both.

Cross trade is the carriage of goods between two EU member states.

Transit is carrying goods through one or more EU member states to a non-EU country such as Switzerland or Turkey.

If only some of your journeys include cross trade or transit you should still select this option during the application process. If you are allocated permits you will have the opportunity to decide how many of any permits allocated to you to purchase.

Remember, you cannot use ECMT permits for cabotage (moving goods between two points in another country).

 

Do you make journeys to or through “restricted countries”?

 

Some countries restrict the number and type of ECMT permits that can be used in their territory. Austria, Greece, Italy, Hungary and Russia all limit the number of permits that can be used. Only Euro VI permits can be used in Austria.

You will be able to specify if you require permits for Austria, Greece, Italy, Hungary or Russia but these cannot be guaranteed, see Restricted countries section.

 

How the allocation process works

 

Overview of the approach to allocations

 

Rules on market access will be confirmed over the coming weeks. If demand for ECMT permits exceeds supply, they will be allocated to the highest scoring permit applications, subject to sector thresholds.

If arrangements for market access are confirmed and include basic market access, that is the ability to carry goods to and from the EU, then many journeys will be able to take place from 1 January 2021 without an ECMT permit.

Any operators who applied for but no longer require ECMT permits will not need to pay for any permits allocated to them but the permit application fee is non-refundable.

If there are restrictions on certain journey types then we will allocate ECMT permits to operators who have indicated they make those journeys and if demand is greater than supply, permits will be allocated according to score.

If market access is not uniform throughout 2021 then we may contact applicants to determine their needs. You may be offered short-term (30 day) ECMT permits to cover shorter periods of restricted market access.

 

How applications are scored

 

The information you provide in your application will determine your scores for how frequently a permit could be used and the proportion of your business that is international. These will be combined to give a score for your application. As many operators will apply for more than one permit, a weighted random score is used to distinguish between permits.

 

Weighted random selection

 

To distinguish between the permits, each permit you have applied for will be given a random score. This will be combined with the score for your application based on the other criteria to give an overall score for each individual permit. This means you may receive all, some or none of the permits you applied for.

We believe it is important that a range of UK hauliers can continue to haul goods internationally. Including a weighted random element to the scoring of applications will give the highest scoring operators many, but not all, of the permits they applied for. Instead, those permits are allocated to a larger number of operators who have also scored highly on the other criteria. Including an element of weighted random selection in the allocation process increases the number of operators that will receive permits and gives a fair and equitable chance for small and medium sized operators to receive permits.

 

Sector split

 

The UK government does not intend to rely solely on ECMT permits for market access. In the event that demand for ECMT permits exceeds supply it is possible that Government might need to ensure there is market access across a range of commodities. In this case we would take account of goods carried during the allocation process. Applications for a specific sector will be compared against other applications in the same sector to ensure that a minimum proportion of permits is allocated to each sector according in proportion with the goods moved in that sector.

 

Emissions class

 

The emissions class you selected does not affect your score. Permits will be allocated according to score regardless of emissions class until either 10% of permits have been allocated to Euro V applications or there are no remaining Euro V applications that have scored higher than a Euro VI application.

 

Restricted countries

 

Requesting a permit for a restricted country does not affect your score. Permits will be allocated to the highest scoring applicants. If you are not allocated a permit to a restricted country, you may still be allocated an ECMT permit for non-restricted countries depending on your score.

 

Notification of outcome

 

The DVSA will contact you after applications have been scored to notify you of the outcome which may be:

  • successful – you are allocated all permits applied for
  • partially successful – you are allocated some of the permits you applied for
  • unsuccessful – you were not allocated any permits in this application round

 

If negotiations are ongoing, the Department for Transport may decide to pause notification of outcome, or issue a provisional notification which means that you may be told the outcome of the application but will not be able to accept and purchase any permits until a later date. This is to help ensure that we do not issue, and hauliers are not asked to pay for, permits that are not required.

If you are allocated permits you will have 10 working days in which to pay for them. After this time your allocation will be cancelled and permits will be reallocated to the next highest scoring applicant. This means that even if your application is initially unsuccessful or only partially successful, you may be offered permits at a later stage.

 

Additional documentation

 

Other documents you must carry with an ECMT permit

 

The International Transport Forum requires that hauliers using ECMT permits have additional documentation to show that they are compliant with the rules. These are:

  • certificates of compliance
  • certificates of roadworthiness
  • logbook
  • translations for the certificates of compliance, certificates of roadworthiness and logbook - these will be provided with the documentation

 

You must carry these documents with your ECMT permit otherwise it is not valid.

If you don’t already have a certificate of compliance you should ask the manufacturer of the vehicles and trailers you intend to use ECMT permits in to complete a certificate of compliance. You need a certificate for each for each tractor unit and trailer used; the same certificate can be used again in future years. You should note that to comply with the certification requirements, your vehicle must have rear marker plates on display.

You can apply online to DVSA using your vehicle operator licensing (VOL) account for certificates of roadworthiness. You will need new certificates of roadworthiness each year for each tractor unit and trailer used with an ECMT permit.

An ECMT logbook will be provided with each permit. You must complete details of every journey and submit a monthly return to the DVSA.

 

 

To print or save this page as a PDF from a desktop computer:

  • right click anywhere on the page
  • select ‘Print…’ from the menu

From: Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency


Published 27 October 2020


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