International operators’ licence needed for operating light goods vehicles in Europe from 21st May 2022

The Department for Transport has issued the following reminder:

“New EU rules that come into force on 21 May 2022 will require users of vans and other light goods vehicles which transport goods for hire or reward from the UK into, or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, to obtain an International Operators’ Licence.

These new rules will apply to vehicles weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes.

If you do not have an operators’ licence your business could be disrupted. You could also face enforcement action when you reach Europe. The type of action will depend on the country where you are stopped but could include fines, impounding or being asked to return to the UK.

The new rules will come into force in less than three weeks, you should apply for an operators’ licence as soon as possible, selecting the interim option.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please visit GOV.UK for a full list of the information required.

When completing your application, remember:


You may also need to make posting declarations for journeys to the EU

Don’t forget that if you’re transporting goods between two points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway for commercial purposes, (known as cabotage or cross trade), you must now make a “posting declaration”, which means registering the operator, driver, driver employment details, dates of travel, and the vehicle used.

This could be using HGVs, vans or other light goods vehicles of any size, or cars, whether or not you’re towing a trailer. It’ll apply if you’re moving the goods for hire or reward, or for your own business’ use. The information you need to sign up and start declaring is available on GOV.UK. Or, you can access the EU Portal and FAQs now.

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