New European Union (EU) operator licensing requirements are being introduced from May 2022 that have significant consequences for some operators of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs). It is important that all affected operators are aware of the new requirements outlined below and make arrangements to comply with them.
Under EU Regulation 2020/1055 which comes into force in February 2022, operators who engage in international road transport operations for hire or reward using LCVs with a maximum permitted weight above 2.5 tonnes must hold an operator licence from 21 May 2022.
This development will bring a range of vehicles into the scope of operator licensing for the first time, for example large vans used for international hire or reward operations. The new licensing requirement applies regardless of the size of the transport undertaking; it affects both operators of fleets and individuals operating a single van for international transport operations.
Operators who are new to the licensing regime will have to take steps to ensure that they are able to meet the requirements.
NOTE: The new requirement for an operator licence is NOT applicable to the following:
- LCVs that are used for hire or reward operations solely within Ireland
- LCVs that are not above 2.5 tonnes maximum permitted weight
- LCVs that are not used for hire or reward operations, e.g., suppliers transporting their own goods, tradespeople carrying their equipment
Operators of LCVs with a maximum permitted weight above 2.5 tonnes who use their vehicles for hire or reward internationally will have to apply to the Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit of the Department of Transport for an international Road Transport Operator Licence, which must be obtained by 21 May 2022.
In order to obtain a Road Transport Operator Licence, affected LCV operators will need to demonstrate that they meet a number of conditions, including:
- Good Repute
- Financial Standing
- Professional Competence
In relation to the requirement of good repute, licence applicants must undergo Garda vetting and complete a self-declaration form. Operators must also hold a valid tax clearance certificate.
To meet the financial standing requirement, licence applicants must demonstrate that they have capital and reserves of at least €1800 for the first vehicle to be authorised under the licence and €900 for each additional vehicle.
Applicants must also have an effective and stable establishment in Ireland, including premises with appropriate parking spaces and facilities, where the core business documents are accessible.
To satisfy the requirement of professional competence, licence applicants must have a nominated Transport Manager who has the required Transport Management Certificate of Professional Competence (TM CPC). If the applicant does not themselves have the TM CPC qualification, they may contract in the services of a qualified Transport Manager.
NOTE: Applicants who have continuously managed an LCV-only transport undertaking for a period of 10 years or more leading up to 20 August 2020 may apply for an exemption from the TM CPC examination. An application form for this exemption will be available from the Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org) on request.
Applications for the licensing of LCVs engaged in international transport will be open by 1st March 2022 so that operators can make a timely application in advance of the applicable date of 21st May 2022.
If operators wish to clarify any aspect of the new LCV licensing requirements, they may contact the Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit at email@example.com.
*Regarding whether the operator of these types of vehicles require to undertake the annual Driver CPC, the Department of Transport issued this reply to Fleet Transport’s query: ‘Where the vehicle being driven does not require a C or D driving licence there is no requirement for Driver CPC. However, only if the maximum authorised mass (MAM) of the vehicle does not exceed 3,500kg a B (car) category driving licence is sufficient. Therefore, it may be the case that some drivers of light commercial vehicles do require a CPC if they require a C driving licence’.
The new requirements for LCVs operators engaged in international transport for hire or reward are in relation to road transport operator licensing (EU Reg 1055/2020), as mentioned. However, Light Commercial Vehicles involved in international transport operations will be subject to Driving Times, Breaks and Rest period rules from July 2026.