Haulage businesses are growing concerned after a new paper published by the Department for Transport (DfT) has explained that permits to travel abroad could be given on a priority basis.
If a deal can’t be reached between the parties involved in Brexit, the haulage industry may face what has been dubbed a ‘lorry lottery’.
Transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has explained that he has less than 4,000 European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits to spread amongst almost 40,000 vehicles.
Under current rules, the number of hauliers based in the UK that can travel across the EU is unlimited.
However, should a no-deal Brexit happen, this would stop as the permits are issued by the International Transport Forum which covers 43 countries and are given to members based on a quota.
The 3,816 ECMT permits would firstly be given to those vehicles that meet the Euro VI emissions standards and make a large number of trips overseas, whilst the heavier-polluting vehicles could struggle to get a permit under the proposed system.
Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy at the Road Haulage Association, said that the criteria the government had devised “feel like they’ve been done on the back of a fag packet”.
“There simply aren’t enough permits for the vehicles of hauliers who want to get across the Channel — do the maths,” he said.
“We desperately need a deal. All the stuff around ECMT is not a surprise, we’ve been warning our haulage members about it for some time, but it goes to show the complete lack of preparedness for a hard Brexit.”
The DfT said that ministers were still optimistic about striking a Brexit deal, in which case the UK would be expected to obtain sufficient haulage permits.
If you are considering upgrading your fleet or vehicle to meet new emission standards, giving your business a better chance of getting an ECMT permit should you need to, you can do so by contacting us on 0115 958 6872, emailing email@example.com or getting an online decision using our online tool at Asset Finance Compared.