Regulatory change on the horizon for taking vans abroad

Under the terms of the EU withdrawal agreement, the UK has committed to introducing an operators’ licence regime for vans going abroad, including those taken between Northern and Southern Ireland.

BVRLA members’ customers taking vans across the EU border to transit goods for commercial purposes will be required to have an O-Licence from May 2022.  

This gives just over a year for business customers to be made aware of the new requirements and to put processes in place to manage the impact of the change. 

In a recent meeting with the Department for Transport, the BVRLA was pleased to see that the Government is taking a pragmatic approach by not placing any obligation on rental and leasing companies to be responsible for checking that a customer has an O-licence, or to introduce an onerous maintenance regime on the off-chance that a van is being used under an O-licence. 

The DfT will be consulting on the legislative changes which are needed to implement the regime and the BVRLA is recommending that members raise awareness with their customers now so they can start preparing for the change, as some customers may need to appoint a transport manager and demonstrate good financial standing to the Traffic Commissioners. 

See the DVSA’s Guide to Maintaining Road Worthiness which explains what a maintenance programme looks like and Being a goods vehicle operator on the GOV.UK website which includes general guidance on goods vehicle operator licences.