Haulage and Trailers Act Bolsters EU Exit Preparations

Royal Assent has been given to legalisation on cross-border haulage, representing a notable step in the government's preparations for exiting the European Union. The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act is in place to ensure that the UK has the powers it needs to support British hauliers to continue operating internationally.

Despite this, it may not be as simple as it is now, pre-Brexit. It is possible that a future exit deal could require a form of permitting system and the government needs to have legal frameworks in place to introduce a new administrative structure. The act provides the government with this flexibility. 

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said; 

Royal Assent of the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act is a significant step in our preparations for exiting the European Union. The haulage industry is at the heart of our trading relationship with the EU and we are confident that we will reach an agreement to maintain the current liberal access that is beneficial to both sides. But these powers give us the flexibility to have systems in place if a permit system is required and provides reassurance for hauliers to continue planning for a smooth EU

The key elements of this act include providing a structure for the regulation and enforcement of existing permit arrangements with non-EU countries which may be used, if necessary, to manage permit arrangements with the EU, ensuring hauliers can obtain the relevant paperwork to provide services after the UK leaves the EU and the establishment of a trailer registration team allowing UK trailers users to meet the registration standards outlined in the 1968 Vienna Convention - this will ensure the UK operators driving on the continent can comply with the requirements of those EU countries which require the registration of all trailers travelling on their roads. 

The DVSA is also making progress in creating a permit administration scheme and the DVLA on establishing a trailer registration scheme. The department has also begun working with stakeholders to produce a trailer safety report. This follows extensive debate around trailer safety during Parliamentary consideration of the act. The report, scheduled to be published by July 2019, will consider whether mandatory registration and periodic roadworthiness testing should be extended to additional trailer categories.