Professional Transport Services

Department for Transport release Important update for Hauliers on market access rules from 1 January 2021


The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement. DfT said they would update the industry on changes that affect it.


What does the deal mean for UK hauliers?

UK and EU operators will continue to be able to provide services to, from and through each other’s territories. Hauliers can also continue to make some additional movements within the other’s territory.

Under the Agreement, as a UK haulier, you will be able to undertake unlimited bilateral (point-to-point) journeys to and from the EU and unlimited transit journeys through the EU to a non-EU country.

Up to two additional movements in the EU will also be possible – cabotage* or cross-trade** – following a laden journey*** from the UK, with a maximum of one cabotage movement, performed within a 7-day period.

Both additional movements may be cabotage movements in Ireland for Northern Ireland operators, provided they follow a laden journey from Northern Ireland, and are performed within 7 days.

You/your driver will still need to:

•            comply with traffic management regulations in Kent, such as Operation Brock, if congestion   builds at the border.

•            use  Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border service before reaching Kent .


What action should be taken?

Check your journeys are covered by the Trade Cooperation Agreement.

If they aren’t, consider whether you need an ECMT permit for a third cross-trade journey in the EU, or to make a journey to another country that is part of the ECMT system in January and/or February.


If you have not already been allocated an annual ECMT permit, we will be able to issue you a short term (30-day) permits for these journeys.  

Contact DVSA at


Permits will only be issued for journeys that involve a third cross-trade journey or ECMT member country and you may be asked to provide evidence of previous trips or future contracts.

While we assess demand, we will only issue permits to cover journeys that commence in January and February and you must return completed ECMT logbooks within two weeks of the expiry of the permit. Arrangements for access after February will be confirmed in the New Year.

ECMT permits cannot be used for cabotage journeys.


Which countries need an ECMT permit?

You’ll need an ECMT permit to make journeys to other ECMT member countries that aren’t in the EU or covered by a bilateral arrangement, these are:

Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro.

Further information to help you plan your journey is available at


*Cabotage is moving goods between two points within one EU Member State e.g. from Paris to           Lille.

**Cross-trade is moving goods between two EU Member States, e.g taking a load from Paris to               Brussels.

***A laden journey is a journey where a haulier is moving goods.


Further information: