Wednesday 20 February 2019

DfT issues update on Brexit trailer registration plans

The Department for Transport has provided further detail on its plan to introduce a registration system for UK trailers travelling internationally, as part of its measures to safeguard the continuity of undisrupted haulage operations in Europe after Brexit (TO70).

“We intend to require the registration of commercial trailers over 750kg and non-commercial trailers over 3,500kg that enter a foreign country that has ratified the 1968 [Vienna Convention on Road Traffic],” said the DfT.

“Small, private use trailers such as caravans and horse trailers would not fall within the scope of mandatory registration, but may be registered voluntarily to guarantee their rights when travelling to such countries.”

Trailers travelling to the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Cyprus and Malta will not need to register, says DfT, unless they pass through a foreign country that has ratified the 1968 Convention on the same journey. Trailers from Northern Ireland will therefore only need to register if travelling to continental Europe.

The department says it intends the scheme to be operational by the end of the year, allowing operators to register ahead of the UK’s adoption of the 1968 Convention next March. There will be no additional testing regimes or annual tax for trailers, the DfT added, but an initial registration fee will be payable which will cover the life of the trailer.

“We expect the administration fees to be lower than those for registration of motor vehicles (currently £55),” said DfT.

“Following launch, trailer users in the mandatory categories will be required to register with the DVLA through a digital service. Once registered, trailer users will be required to carry their registration certificate and must affix their registration plate to the specified trailer…

“There will be offences associated with the scheme for trailers incorrectly registered or breaching any of the other provisions of the bill.

“Formal consultation with industry will inform the regulations made under the bill and refine the detailed service design.”

Provision for the scheme will be made via the government’s Haulage Permits & Trailer Registration Bill, which will also allow the UK to allocate and charge for road freight permits, should these be required by UK hauliers to operate on the continent post-Brexit.

The Road Haulage Association said it was supportive of the legislation and its aim to keep vehicles moving whatever the negotiation outcomes – but added that there was “still much uncertainty” around the post-Brexit arrangements.

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