There is little doubt that the transport and logistics sector would be impacted by a no deal Brexit, especially those regularly travelling across the border into continental Europe. Recent news from Europe of a lightening of the load is therefore of great interest.
As part of the European Commissions ‘Contingency Action Plan’ (CAP), the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council have reached a provisional agreement on a set of temporary and limited measures to ensure basic road freight and road passenger connectivity. This step has been taken to mitigate the most severe disruption in the event that the UK leaves the European Union (“EU”) without a withdrawal agreement.
The European Commission are proposing that operators from the UK will temporarily be allowed to carry goods by road into the EU, provided that the UK confers equivalent rights to the EU’s road haulage operators and subject to conditions around fair competition. These measures will enter into force in the event of a no deal scenario and will cease on 31 December 2019. Separate rules are proposed for cabotage.
In considering the need to extend such provisions to bus and tour operators, the EU regarded this was unnecessary in light the UK’s indication that it will become a contracting party to the Interbus Agreement 2002. Whilst the Interbus Agreement doesn’t currently extend to regular passenger transport services it should be noted that agreements have also recently been reached to extend the application to regular and regular special services.
The European Commission are due to present the provisionally agreed text for approval by the EU member states 29 February 2019. This is likely to provide some relief for those unable to secure a European Conference of Ministers Transport permit although this is, of course, subject to the UK reciprocity.
In addition, whilst this announcement is welcome news to the transport and logistics sector, it does nothing to relieve the burden on private UK citizens (and their insurers) who will need a Green Card to drive their vehicles into Europe in the event of a no deal Brexit, as well as additional Green Cards for any trailers or caravans being towed along the way.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries or contact the authors, Phil James and Jacqui Bickerton