How the transportation by road is going to change after the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the United Kingdom and the European Union.ù
On 1 January, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) came into force, governing the commercial relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. It introduces new rules for the carriage of goods by road ensuring the operators free access to the territories of both parties. The TCA makes possible transportation of goods by roads from and to the United Kingdom without any additional licenses required. However, there are significant changes related to the number of voyages permitted for the transport operators and the cabotage.
The cabotage regime
Pursuant to Art. ROAD 4 of the TCA, the English carriers are entitled to carry goods up to a maximum of two voyages from a European member state to another European one without returning to the United Kingdom, provided that these voyages come after a voyage started in the United Kingdom. It is necessary to specify that only one of these two operations can be done under cabotage arrangements (i.e. within a European member State) and as long as the voyage in cabotage regime is made no later than 7 days from the unloading of the goods in the European Union.
To put it in practice, an English hauler performs his first voyage from Southampton to Lion, the second one from Lion to Nice and, the third one from Nice to Turin, as long as the latter is made within 7 days from the arrival in Europe. After that, the English carrier must come back to the United Kingdom.
By contrast, for the European haulers, the TCA provides that two voyages may be made within the United Kingdom (therefore, both under cabotage regime). The 7 days’ rule, however, still applies. For instance, an Italian carrier is entitled to go from Turin to Dover, then from Dover to London under cabotage regime, and finally from London to Bournemouth (again under cabotage regime). Thereafter, the Italian carrier shall make return to the European Union.
This new system is a relevant change from the previous regime which allowed free loading and unloading without any restrictions within the boundaries of the same territory. In the first months of 2021, the European operators are still assessing the impact of the changes introduced by the TCA on their activities across the Channel.
It has been confirmed the haulers license pursuant to EU Regulation No. 1072/2009 transposed in the United Kingdom by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended by the Licensing of Operators and International Road Haulage (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Art. ROAD 5 of the TCA confirms the rule which states that a certified copy of license must be kept on board of the vehicle and be shown on request of the control agents.
Carriers traveling between the United Kingdom and the European Union are required, pursuant to Art. ROAD 7 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, to have a certificate of professional competence such as the driver qualification card. Also, they are required to comply with the rules listed in the annex ROAD 1 part B of the TCA concerning working time, resting period, interruption and use of the tachograph.
Avv. Lorenzo Macchi
- Posted by Lorenzo Macchi
- On 24 March 2021