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EU licence application for vehicles over 2.5 tons – Important facts about the extension of the licence obligation

A central component of intra-European transport and supply chains are cross-border freights and cabotage transports. To carry out these services, transport companies must be in possession of a valid EU licence. Most recently, this requirement only applied to transports with vehicles exceeding a permissible total weight of 3.5 tons. With the extension of the obligation for the EU licence as of May 21, 2022, the requirement now already applies to transports with a permissible total weight of 2.5 tons or more. For cross-border road transportation, courier services and vans must therefore also apply for an EU licence. 

EU licence for cross-border transportation – Basic knowledge

Regulations for the transport of goods within the European Union are governed by EU law. Transport companies wishing to carry out international road haulage must be in possession of an EU licence. An EU licence must be applied for from the competent transport authority for cabotage transports. The validity of the document is at least ten years.

Extension of the EU licence – The changes

Until now, the licence requirement only applied to vehicles whose gross vehicle weight exceeds 3.5 tons. On May 21, 2022, a far-reaching amendment to the “Market Access” Regulation (No. 1072/2009) and the “Professional Access” Regulation (No. 1071/2009) will come into force. According to this, an EU licence is now also required for transports with vehicles of 2.5 tons or more. An exception initially applied from February 21, 2022 for companies that carry out their transports exclusively with vehicles whose permissible total weight exceeds 2.5 tons, but not 3.5 tons. The corresponding transitional regulation has also ended on May 21, 2022, so that thereafter an valid EU licence must be presented for all vehicles weighing 2.5 tons or more for cross-border road transport.

EU licence application – These proofs are necessary

The EU licence is issued by the respective competent transportation authority. The cost of a licence is between EUR 120.00 and 700.00. Transport companies wishing to apply for an EU licence must meet the following requirements:

Proof of own subsidiary

  • Facilities that allow the competent authority to inspect and review key company documents
  • The documents (e.g. transport contracts, employment contracts, accounting documents or also documents on cabotage and driving and rest periods) must be available in electronic or other form

Proof of financial capacity

  • Liquidity is determined on the basis of the following assessment base: EUR 9,000 for the first vehicle used, EUR 5,000 for each additional vehicle with a total mass of more than 3.5 tons, EUR 900 for each additional vehicle with a total mass of more than 2.5 tons but less than 3.5 tons.
  • For companies that perform road transport exclusively with vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tons, the following regulation applies: EUR 1,800 for the first vehicle used, EUR 900 for each additional vehicle used
  • Proof of capital shall be provided by means of the annual financial statements

Proof of professional suitability

  • At least one person in the company must have the professional qualification to run a commercial road transportation business
  • Proof is provided by professional qualification examination
  • Anyone who has managed a company of the same type for ten years is exempt from the obligation to provide evidence of a professional qualification examination, provided that the professional activity is recognized by the respective competent chamber of commerce

Proof of personal reliability

  • Neither the company itself nor the person appointed to manage the road transportation business (transport manager) may have registered criminal offenses or infringements of Union regulations
  • Proof of personal reliability is provided in the form of a certificate of good conduct and information from the central commercial register (not older than three months).

More information about the EU regulations can also be found on Trans.INFO.

EU licence as a competitive advantage

If your company does not hold a valid licence, you will no longer be allowed to perform cross-border transports with vehicles between 2.5 and 3.5 tons as of May 21, 2022. For these transports, you must first apply for the EU licence.

The Trans.eu platform can help you find suitable partners. Through the transport platform you gain access to a network of 25,000 carriers, 9,000 forwarders and 6,000 shippers. As part of our verification process, you can deposit the EU licence on the Trans.eu platform to document your suitability as a transport service provider. For this purpose, we recommend our TCF Elite Certificate and TCC Elite Certificate, which identify you as a particularly reliable transport partner on our platform. The TCF Certificate is awarded to forwarders who, for example, have received very good ratings from the Trans.eu community or whose punctual payments have been confirmed by the TransRisk index.

The TCC Certificate is awarded to carriers that have been verified and recommended by Trans.eu on the basis of their experience in the industry or their equipment in terms of the fleet. We regularly check the validity of the certificates, so TCF and TCC are relevant quality indicators for potential clients. This helps you to find trustworthy and reliable partners and to intensify existing partnerships. For more information, please visit https://certificatestrans.eu/en/

This article is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

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