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Cross-border van operators will need O-licences from May

[ February 2, 2022   //   ]

New EU legislation will require companies using vans or other light goods vehicles weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes for hire and reward to hold a  Goods Vehicle Operator’s Licence to drive in the European Union, warns compliance specialist TruTac.

The new rules are part of the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

They will affect light commercial vehicles (LCVs) above 2.5 tonnes (or towing trailers with a combined weight over 2.5 tonnes) travelling across international borders. This includes crossing from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland.

TruTac says that one of the many conditions of the licence is the appointment of a dedicated transport manager, with a valid Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (TM CPC). However the UK Government has said some operators may be able to obtain a temporary exemption from the TM CPC requirement if they have “appropriate experience of managing light goods vehicles in the form of temporary transport manager status.” 

The company will also need to demonstrate financial standing to run the business with a minimum of £1,600 available for the first vehicle and an extra £800 per additional vehicle. As with HGV operators, assets must also be kept safe and in good condition and all safety inspection and maintenance records must also be retained for a minimum of 15 months.

Operators whose vehicles fall in scope of the changes will also from 1 July 2026, require the use of tachographs and recording of driving and working time in compliance with the EU drivers’ hours rules.

TruTac managing director, Jemma James comments: “Those with vehicles under 3.5 tonnes will be used to a fairly straightforward approach to driver and vehicle compliance, but these new rules introduce an extra layer of complexity, especially for anyone with vans just over the 2.5 tonne mark or for those who tow trailers or semi-trailers.”

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