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If your workers need to drive in a country outside the UK, both you and they need to be fully aware of differences in laws and driver and vehicle requirements in all countries that will or might be passed through. 

Drivers will not need to carry a Green Card but will need to carry their UK driving licence with them. You also need an international driving permit (IDP)   to drive in some European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries. Please check the UK Government’s current advice on driving in the EU from 1 January 2021.

If you are bringing a vehicle into the UK, there are things you will need to do including notification, checks, registration, tax and insurance. If this isn’t done, either by the driver, fleet operator, trader or a contracted importer can be prosecuted.

New rules for international road haulage

From 2 February 2022 anyone transporting goods between two points in the European Union (EU) will need to register the journey online.
There are no fees to use the EU portal to register a journey and it's advised to check which types of journeys need to be registered.

From 21 May 2022, operators of light goods vehicles will need a standard international goods vehicle operator license to transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Further details can be accessed via the government website, including how to sign up for email alerts regarding future developments.

There is also a step-by-step guide to driving abroad on GOV.UK. It's advised to check this before departing as the guidance on this page may no longer be correct (although we’ll endeavour to update it as soon as possible).

  • Make sure drivers are aware of differences in driving requirements and compulsory equipment in each country. For example, daytime headlights on cars are compulsory in Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

    - A country-by-country guide for driving in Europe can be found on the AA’s website: theaa.com.

    - Taking a vehicle abroad for less than 12 months is termed as a ‘temporary export’. During temporary exports, UK-registered vehicles still need to comply with UK law, so the driver must have the V5C (log book), the MOT certificate and insurance needs to be valid for the duration and the vehicle must be taxed before returning.
  • Get International Driving Permits (IDPs), which are valid for 12 months from the date of issue, from the Post Office. Visit postoffice.co.uk for more information.

    - As of 1 February 2019, IDPs can’t be issued by the AA or RAC (as they were before), nor via mail order facilities.

    - It’s vital that if a journey across borders is planned for around and after 31 December 2020 that checks are made as to what drivers and vehicles need to be equipped with (such as IDPs) just before departing (and perhaps even during the journey) since the requirements might change as a consequence of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
  • Check for recent or upcoming regulatory changes, if any, in a country you will be driving through, even if you have passed through recently.
  • Make sure passports (with up-to-date emergency contact details), visas and other documents will be valid for the duration of the journey.

    - Take photocopies of important documents and keep them separate from the originals or store them securely online.
  • Note the number to call for emergency services in each country you will travel through; 112 can be used in any EU country.

    - It’s also a good idea to look into the location of embassies, the services they offer and opening times.
  • Be aware of toll roads or low-emission zones (also known as Environment Zones) along your route. UrbanAccessRegulations.eu can help with this for travel in Europe.
  • Look up what vehicle registration schemes are available for imports by visiting gov.uk/vehicle-registration-schemes-for-the-motor-trade
  • Check what rules apply to short-term imports (where a vehicle will be in the UK for no more than 6 months) by visiting gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk.
  • When planning a trip abroad, remember to read your policy wording to make sure that you have the cover you need.
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