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Institute of Transport Administration

Educating Transport Management since 1944

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Transport goods in Europe in vans or car and trailers

23 May 2024

What transport companies and couriers need to do to use vans and car and trailers over 2.5 tonnes to transport goods in Europe.

You need a standard international goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods for hire or reward in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

This applies to you if you’re based in England, Scotland or Wales and use:

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

You need to either:

  • apply for a standard international goods vehicle operator licence for the first time
  • add the vehicles to your standard international goods vehicle operator licence (if you already have one)
  • apply to upgrade your standard national goods vehicle operator licence (if you have one) to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence
  • apply to upgrade your restricted goods vehicle operator licence (if you have one) to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence

You have an existing member of staff temporarily recognised as a transport manager

You can no longer apply to have a member of staff temporarily recognised as a transport manager.

If you already have an existing member of staff temporarily recognised as a transport manager, they must pass the CPC qualification by 21 May 2025 to continue being a transport manager after that date.

When they’ve fully qualified, they’ll need to keep up a high-quality professional knowledge of transport industry rules and policies.

Further information:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-goods-in-and-out-of-the-uk-using-vans-or-car-and-trailers