Detailed guide: Carry out international road haulage

Department For Transport

January 16
09:19 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for journeys from England to France

For accompanied freight travelling from England to France, your driver must have the result of a negative test taken less than 72 hours earlier.

Free COVID-19 tests for HGV drivers are available at some haulier information and advice sites.

Find the nearest haulier advice site offering Covid testing.

Apply for operator licences and permits

To transport goods internationally by road, you need either a

You will need other licences and permits, depending on the countries youre driving to or through.

Check which international road haulage permits you need.

Register your vehicle trailers

You must register these types of trailers before you drive to or through most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway:

  • commercial trailers weighing over 750kg
  • non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg

Register your trailer to take it abroad.

Abnormal load trailers

You need a keepers certificate for an abnormal load trailer to use it abroad. Keep the certificate in the vehicle to show at border crossings.

Some countries measure abnormal loads differently from the UK. Check with each country youre travelling through to find out if the load youre transporting counts as abnormal there.

Apply for a keepers certificate for an abnormal load trailer to use it abroad.

Get specialist vehicle approvals

You will need to get specialist vehicle approvals if you want to transport:

Get the right vehicle documents

Your driver will need to carry the right vehicle documents with them during international journeys. These include:

  • vehicle registration documents
  • vehicle and trailer insurance documents
  • GB stickers
  • vehicle operator licences and permits

Check what vehicle documents your drivers need to carry during international journeys.

Make sure your driver is eligible to drive abroad

Your driver will need to carry the right documents about themselves with them during international journeys. These include:

  • a valid UK driving licence
  • a valid Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card
  • a valid passport
  • an international driving permit (IDP) if they need one for the countries theyre travelling in
  • healthcare documents

Check what documents your driver needs to carry about themselves during international journeys.

Complete a road consignment (CMR) note

A road consignment (CMR) note is a standard contract used by companies who want to use a provider to transport goods internationally by road.

The CMR note confirms that the haulage company has received the goods and has a contract from the supplier to carry them.

You must have a CMR note on all international journeys if youre carrying goods on a commercial basis.

The CMR note can be filled in by either:

  • you (the haulier)
  • the company sending the goods abroad
  • a freight forwarder

You will need 3 copies of a CMR note, including one:

  • for the supplier of the goods
  • for the eventual customer
  • to accompany the goods while they are being transported

You can buy pre-printed CMR notes from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Logistics UK.

Check an HGV is ready to cross the border (Kent Access Permit)

You must use the service to check an HGV is ready to cross the border if its travelling via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.

This will prove that the HGV has the right EU import and commodities documents for the goods its carrying before it crosses the Great Britain-EU border.

You need to do this to get a Kent Access Permit before the vehicle enters Kent.

Your driver is responsible for doing the check, but it can be done on their behalf by your transport manager.

Your driver can be fined 300 if you do not use the service to check an HGV is ready to cross the border when they travel via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, or if you provide a fraudulent declaration.

Its optional to use the service for all other ports in Great Britain.

Follow Kent traffic management plans

There are measures to manage traffic flow in the event of disruption to Kents road network.

These measures are known as Operation Brock and apply to HGVs over 7.5 tonnes if theres severe disruption to services from the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.

Customs and document checks away from ports

Inland border facilities are UK government sites where customs and document checks take place away from port locations.

The facilities act as a government office of departure (for outbound journeys) and a government office of destination (for inbound journeys). You can start and end journeys at the facilities when moving goods in and out of the UK.

Checks carried out at inland border facilities

These checks are carried out at the facilities:

You drivers may need to go to an inland border facility if they enter or plan to exit the UK via Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead and need:

  • to start or end a CTC movement
  • CITES checks
  • an ATA carnet or TIR carnet stamped

Your drivers may also be directed to an inland border facility:

  • because they are not border-ready
  • for a document or physical inspection of their load

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