Further to our recent post on ECMT’s (Link), we are now able to share this recent release from the ‘International Road Haulage Permit Office’ (hereafter called IRHPO), concerning the rules concerning ECMT’s.

New rules: 90% of journeys to the EU don’t need an ECMT permit

Thank you for applying for a European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit.

Since you applied, the EU has confirmed that UK hauliers will be able to continue travelling to the EU after 29 March if we leave without a deal. Most journeys will remain unaffected until 31 December.

You do not need an ECMT permit for
·      Travel (empty or laden) to any EU Member State and return
·      Travel (empty or laden) to any EEA Member State (Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland) and return
·      Transit through Switzerland to any EU/EEA Member State
·      Transit through any EU or EEA Member State to another EU or EEA Member State
·      Journeys to or from Ireland
·      Travelling through Ireland on journeys between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
·      Cabotage (ECMT permits do not allow cabotage)
·      Cross trade (you can make two onward journeys to other EU countries in a single trip before 31 July*)
·      Cross trade (you can make one onward journey to other EU countries in a single trip between 1 August and 31 October 2019*)


You have not been allocated an annual ECMT permit but you may request a short-term ECMT permit if required for transit journeys in April.

ECMT permits allow transit through the EU (or EEA) to countries which are not part of the EU or EEA such as Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and Morocco.


If you request permits which are not used you may not be eligible for ECMT permits in the future.

There will be further opportunities to request ECMT permits later in the year.

We will monitor use of ECMT permits and may request the return of unused permits.

ECMT permits are only valid when accompanied by Certificates of Roadworthiness and Compliance.

All trips must be recorded on the log book which is issued with the ECMT permit and completed record sheets returned to the DVSA within two weeks after the end of the validity period.

How to obtain ECMT permits for transit during April

  • Short-term ECMT permits can be used for transit to a country outside of the EU or EEA.
  • If you need a short-term ECMT permit for transit during April you will be able to request these from 13:00 on Friday 22 March by emailing shorttermECMT@dvsa.gov.uk.
  • Permits will be issued to operators if they demonstrate that a permit is required during April.
  • Permits will be limited initially to five per operator request.
  • You should request your permit at least 2 weeks before travel if possible to allow sufficient time for the permit and certificates of roadworthiness to be issued.
  • More short-term permits will be made available for future months; information will be provided closer to the time.

Please include the following in your email:

  • Operator licence number
  • State whether vehicle is Euro V or Euro VI
  • Journey destination (permits will only be issued for transit to countries outside of the EU/EEA)
  • Evidence of travel to third country destination during April (e.g. contract to import/export, evidence of recent/regular travel to the third country destination will also be accepted)
  • Number of permits required for April (max 5)
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Vehicle and trailer type and make
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Engine type/number

If you do not include this information in your email it will take longer for us to process your request and you may not receive the documents in time for travel.

You must also request a Certificate of Compliance for both vehicle and trailer from the respective manufacturer.

ECMT permits are only valid when accompanied by Certificates of Roadworthiness and Compliance.

When you travel your trailer must be registered. You can register your trailer here.

You must check other requirements for driving in the EU: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-drive-in-the-eu-after-brexit-lorry-and-goods-vehicle-drivers

IRHPO | International Road Haulage Permit Office

Hillcrest House| 386 Harehills Lane | Leeds | LS9 6NF
Tel: 03306 78 1117


If you have any questions about ECMT’s, whether you will need one or any other related matter; either contact the IRHPO using the provided contact information above, or reach out to our offices by phone (01634 731310), Email (Admin@tmc-assist.co.uk) or Mail (Beta House, Culpepper Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester, Kent ME2 4HU)