Getting delivery work abroad can be a great opportunity to clock up thousands of extra miles but you’ll need to make sure that you have all your paperwork in order before you set off. |
Here is my overview of some of the permits and authorisations you’ll need to take your lorry abroad for delivery work.
Passports, visas, driving licences
It may sound obvious but while many drivers think about the permits they need for their vehicles, it can be easy to overlook the documents you’re going to need for yourself.
Check that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your job Check whether any of the countries you’ll be travelling through require a visa Check drivers’ hours and tachograph requirements for each country you will be driving through Check whether you will need an International Driving Permit (remember this does not replace your UK licence, you are required to carry both). All hauliers driving abroad must obtain a Standard International Operator’s Licence; you may also request a Community Licence for delivery work throughout the EU.
To drive in the EU you must also hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) on top of your vocational driving licence.
Health Insurance and Medical Documents
Some countries hold drivers legally responsible for the goods they are carrying so it’s a good idea to leave a copy of legal and medical documents with friends or family that you can contact outside of office hours, just in case.
You must have valid insurance and it’s worth carefully checking the small print for any exemptions which might apply before you set off. You should be covered for medical, personal liability, legal expenses and 24-hour emergency assistance.
If you are driving in the EEA and Switzerland then you should also carry a European Health Insurance Card.
Documents You Must Carry
There are certain documents that other countries require, by law, that you must carry while driving goods vehicles. These include:
Vehicle registration documents Vehicle insurance documents Green Card – some countries require this as proof of minimum insurance cover Insurance for goods in transit – in some countries Goods vehicle operator’s licence Community licences Vehicle tax – sometimes you will be asked to pay a vehicle tax; there is an exemption for UK haulage drivers in some countries so it’s important to display a GB sticker Cabotage Within the EU
Cabotage allows you to carry out a limited amount of delivery work within EU member states if you are a UK haulier, have Community Authorisation and it follows on from a journey where goods were carried from the UK.
Drivers may be liable to pay VAT on cabotage delivery work in the member states and so should register for VAT there.
Bilateral Road Haulage Permits
Several countries outside of the UK have agreed to allow hauliers to travel to or through their countries if they hold the relevant permit so check if this applies to your journey.
European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) Mulitlateral Road Haulage Permits
This is another permit which allows drivers to cross into other countries using the ECMT multilateral permit scheme for journeys between member states.
ECMT International Removal Permits
This is for hauliers who need to remove goods between or across ECMT countries.
This overview is intended only as a guide – it is important that you do your own research before driving abroad. While there is a substantial amount of documentation required you’ll find there are a number of government agencies on hand to help. So make sure you follow their advice and are clear on the requirements of each country you will be driving through before you set off.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Related Articles -