How to apply for an ECMT permit


Hauliers may need ECMT permits for some journeys to or through the EU from 1st January 2021. The Government advises that firms should apply for these now in case they’re needed.

Permits are transferrable between vehicles and between operator licences held by the same operator but must be carried in the vehicle when it is traveling on an international journey. A detailed summary of the ECMT application process is available on the Government’s DfT website.

Key points for applications: 

  • Application for permits opened on November 2nd.
  • You will need a Vehicle Operator Licensing (VOL) account to apply. It is advised that you check that you can log into your VOL account and your contact details are up to date.

The digital application system sets out all the information you need to apply for an ECMT permit but you may find it helpful to consider the points below before you start your application:

  • To apply for a permit, you must hold a valid Standard International or Restricted Goods Operator Licence. You will still be required to have a valid Operator’s licence in all scenarios. A restricted licence allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods.
  • If you choose to apply under your Restricted Goods Operator licence, you will need to comply with the International Quality Charter. This is liable to include having a Transport Manager and increased financial standing. The most straightforward way to demonstrate this is to upgrade your restricted licence to a standard licence before using an ECMT permit.
  • If you have more than one Operator Licence (for example, because you have multiple bases), decide which of your current valid Standard International or Restricted Goods Operator licence(s) you wish to use when applying for an ECMT International Road Haulage Permit. Each licence can apply for ECMT permits. Base this decision on your actual business requirements.