New rules for international road haulage from 2022

New HGV rules 2022International road haulage users who transporting goods to or through Europe using cars and trailers, vans and HGVs face new rules from May 2022.

On 21 May 2022 the EU rules on operator licensing are changing.  From that date anyone operating a light goods vehicle and/or trailer between 2.5 and 3.5 tons in an EU member state will be required to have a goods vehicle operator’s licence.

The changes will only apply to anyone operating a light goods vehicle for hire or reward.  This means that goods, not owned by the operator, are being transported for payment.

The new rules will also apply to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The Department for Infrastructure is working to change the law to enable goods vehicle licences to be issued to anyone affected by these new rules.

What to do if you think you may be affected

New rules affecting the transport of goods using:

  • cars and trailers
  • vans or other light goods vehicles (for example, if you run a European courier service)
  • heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)

The new rules mean that you might need:

  • declare you’re transporting goods inside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (this started from 2 February 2022)
  • a vehicle operator licence and transport manager if you use vans or car and trailers to transport goods to or through Europe from 21 May 2022

The rules are effective from 21 May 2022, so you will need to prepare in advance to be able to continue to operate internationally.    A standard international goods vehicle operator licence will be needed to transport goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland using:

  • vans or other light goods vehicles (sometimes called ‘light commercial vehicles’)
  • vans towing trailers
  • cars towing trailers

An application for an operator licence will need to be submitted, and this will take some time to process, also a qualified transport manager will need to be in place and named on the application.  If you do not hold the qualification yourself, you might be able to be temporarily recognised as a transport manager if you have enough experience.

For those already holding a standard international goods vehicle operator licence, the vehicles will have to be added to the fleet list for the licence.


There are penalties for UK Drivers failing to comply with the new ruling or not having the correct operator licence. The penalties include  the withdrawal of Community Licence or being issued with a monetary fine.

More information can be found here

Lee Jones profile picture
Business Finance specialist at Invoice funding

Seasoned professional with a strong passion for the world of business finance. With over twenty years of dedicated experience in the field, my journey into the world of business finance began with a relentless curiosity for understanding the intricate workings of financial systems.

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