Prepare for Brexit: DfT sets out steps

Operators should take steps now to continue operating in the EU

All operators will receive a letter from the government about what steps they need to take for Brexit

The Department for Transport has set out the steps UK operators need to take to continue running coaches in the EU after the Brexit date, 29 March.

It has sent a letter, co-signed with the Confederation of Passenger Transport, to all operators with an international licence.

It sets out the following steps:

  • If you currently run a regular service into the EU, and the authorisation expires before 31 December, you should renew it before 29 March
  • If you use trailers on international journeys, they must be registered by 28 March
  • Drivers may need an International Driving Permit (£5.50 each), and a Motor Insurance Green Card, to continue to drive in the EU.  

Interbus agreement

The government has arranged for the UK to be an independent member of the Interbus Agreement from 1 April.

This will allow operators to run occasional services – i.e. coach holidays and day trips – into EU countries. It will require carrying different documents, however: a certified true copy of the O-Licence, and the top copy of the Interbus waybill.

The Interbus Agreement is expected to be extended to regular scheduled services in the coming months. In the meantime, a new EU law allows UK operators to operate regular scheduled services until 31 December.

Third countries

Cabotage over the Irish border will not be allowed after 30 September 2019.

Operators will not be able to run regular services to countries outside of the EU, nor occasional services to countries that are neither in the EU or are part of the Interbus Agreement. Therefore, currently, operators won’t be able to access Switzerland. The DfT is working to address this.

Operators are also warned that most member states require a visa and work permit for work of less than 90 days.

Be prepared

The CPT’s Operations Director Keith McNally tells routeone: “CPT has remained in constant dialogue with officials at the DfT throughout Brexit negotiations in order to ensure that coach and bus operators’ needs are fully represented and understood.

“We will continue this conversation with DfT as the date for Brexit approaches, and beyond.

“Members planning or preparing a tour into Europe should first visit the CPT Compliance Manual, or call CPT’s Operations Team, for the very latest Brexit information regarding international coach and bus operations in the EU.”