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Transport goods in Europe in vans or car and trailers from 21 May 2022

Updated: Sep 19, 2022



Transport companies and couriers using vans or a car and trailer over 2.5 tonnes will need to comply with new rules to transport goods in Europe from 21 May 2022.


From this date, you’ll need a standard international goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods for hire or reward in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.


This will apply to you if you’re based in England, Scotland or Wales and use:

  • vans or other light goods vehicles (sometimes called ‘light commercial vehicles’)

  • vans towing trailers

  • cars towing trailers

You need to either:

  • apply for a standard international goods vehicle operator licence for the first time

  • add the vehicles to your standard international goods vehicle operator licence (if you already have one)

  • apply to upgrade your standard national goods vehicle operator licence (if you have one) to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence

  • apply to upgrade your restricted goods vehicle operator licence (if you have one) to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence


You can be fined by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if you operate without the right licence. You can also be prosecuted in the European countries you drive through.


The new rules will apply to you if you use:

  • vans with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes)

  • vans towing a trailer with a gross train weight (GTW) over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes

  • cars towing a trailer with a GTW over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes

You will not need a goods vehicle operator licence if any of these apply:

  • you only use your vehicles in the UK

  • you are transporting goods not for ‘hire or reward’

You must have a transport manager to get a standard international goods vehicle operator licence.

There are new rules if you already have a standard international goods vehicle operator licence or a standard national goods vehicle operator licence.


To find out how the new rules apply to your operation, please contact CJC Transport Consultants as a matter of urgency.

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