After 1st January 2021, goods will still be moving to the EU under a variety of systems, common transit, pre-notification, TIR and of course, ATA carnets.
The legal and procedural changes following Brexit are plentiful. Safety and security declarations are required in all cases, the use of different electronic systems, such as Portbase in Holland, or France’s Smart Border approach.
There will be odd revelations, the egg sandwich in your cab is a product of animal origin and can’t cross the border. Also more serious implications, which could see your goods held in storage for up to 90 days.
Preparation and understanding will matter, you may wish to go through UK government details related to your journey and items carried. We just wanted to highlight core points which will help to ensure a smooth journey whilst using a carnet.
Established Legal Rights
Regardless of what was agreed between the UK and EU before our exit, you have the right to use an ATA carnet to temporarily export goods to the EU. Carnets operate under a separate international agreement and all EU countries are members.
If you want to check related EU law, this is within EU Commission Implementing Regulations of 24 November 2015, Articles 226(3)c and 227(2)c and in the Official Journal of the European Union, particularly regulations 2913/92 and 2454/93.
The essential points are that for ATA carnet use, the EU is considered a single territory and use should be harmonised. Even so, your journey can only succeed where other requirements are met, including common stipulations.
All UK commercial drivers will still need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). An EU Driver CPC should be exchanged for a UK issue if you work for a UK employer, an EU certificate is needed if you work for an EU operator.
A current driving licence covering the vehicle category you are driving is naturally required and depending on the type of licence, you may need an international driving permit. They can be bought at a post office for £5.50.
Insurance covering your vehicle’s international journey must be in place. Even if you are travelling by car, a Green Card from your insurers covering EU journeys is needed, for the EU mainland and the Republic of Ireland.
Except for Ireland, a GB sticker is required on the rear of your vehicle and trailer, even if the number plates include a GB identifier. Many EU countries require you to carry warning triangles, first aid kits, or fire extinguishers.
Above all, carrying all documents with you could prove essential to the journey. Including the vehicle log book (V5C), or a VE103, to confirm that you are allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad.
A UK passport with at least 6 months left to run will normally be sufficient, although a visa, or other immigration permission could be required in certain circumstances, as will ultimately be the case for EU drivers working in the UK.
UK hauliers sending vehicles will need the relevant operator licences and permits. They may also require a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit, depending on the specific journey.
Having customs paperwork in place matters, which at different stages can be the reponsibility of the trader, or the haulier, yet need to be carried by the driver. A good freight forwarding company will assist.
In a developing situation, the latter comment applies to most aspects, not least access to ports, or Kent itself. If you don’t normally work with an established, well briefed haulier, professional advice may avoid hassles.
Carnet Specific Needs
The ATA Convention has not changed due to Brexit. As with anywhere, the person responsible should take the goods and the ATA carnet to a UK Border Force office of departure, then ensure validation at each key journey stage.
There may be additional needs, safety and security declarations, additional clearance for livestock, military items, natural products, or more. Carnets do not exempt goods from an individual country’s permit regime.
Whether a sole trader, or larger operator, quite probable you will have to get used to other registration aspects, or tariffs, or customs procedures. UK to EU transit rules are also bound to change over time.
The points above are simply meant to be a general travelling guide, although for your EU ATA carnet, we are happy to provide all the detailed support you need.