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New Cabotage Rules from 28th October 2021 – 30 April 2022 Explained

The rules on cabotage have temporarily changed from 28 October 2021 until 30 April 2022.

 What is cabotage?

These are the rules imposed on how many journeys an international haulier can make in the UK during a prescribed period of time following entry to the UK with a laden vehicle.

What were the old rules?

The UK allowed EU HGVs to undertake 2 laden transports within 7 days of a laden entry on an international transport to the UK, using the same vehicle.

Prior to 1st January 2021, this was 3 laden transports within 7 days but was reduced following Brexit.

What are the new rules from 28 October 2021 until 30 April 2022?

There is now no limitation on the number of journeys permitted over a period of 14 days, the first day being when the laden vehicle entered the United Kingdom.

This applies to any type of goods being transported.

What else has changed?

Vehicles which are undertaking the temporary additional cabotage are exempt from the requirement to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for the period of cabotage. Previously, the exemption for VED covered the 7 days allowed for cabotage journeys the extension means that hauliers do not have to start paying VED.

What has not changed?

Driver rules have not changed. All drivers must abide by the drivers’ hours and working time rules. All operators must meet the requirements and standards for operator licensing and the vehicles must meet the condition standards required by the UK law.

Why have these changes been made?

The UK is currently affected by a shortage of UK-resident heavy goods vehicle drivers with the number falling by 39,000 between June 2019 and June 2021. In addition, supply chains have been managing significant disruption, reducing fulfilment rates and increasing delays to delivery, including within the food supply chain.

The intention of the changes are to assist in alleviating the current problems being faced by the driver shortage in the UK.

What will happen after 30 April 2022?

At the moment, it is quite clear that these are temporary changes to the cabotage rules and that from 30 April 2022, the rules will revert back to 2 laden transports within 7 days of a laden entry.

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