Wednesday, 9 February 2022, 11:17
There is bad news – and another little-known consequence of Brexit – for drivers of Gibraltar-registered commercial vehicles who operate in Spain: from 1 March they will need a permit or an employment contract to do so because the EU’s legal framework for the carriage of goods and passengers will have come to an end.
In line with the accepted standard in international relations, the Gibraltar government will reciprocate by requiring European Union hauliers, including Spanish operators, to hold a permit in order to operate in Gibraltar. The drivers of all commercial vehicles coming in through the border from Spain will be given an information leaflet beforehand, spelling out the reason for the change in approach and what they will need to do to regularise their position. A short period of adjustment will be permitted by Gibraltar to enable EU hauliers to put the arrangements in place.
The new rules mean that if hauliers do not have a permit to operate in Gibraltar, they will have to unload their goods at the border and transfer the load to a Gibraltar-based company for delivery.
The UK government has applied for Gibraltar to benefit from an extension of the relevant Council of Europe (not EU) international conventions and this situation could have been resolved had the extensions been granted. However, the application has been held up in the Council of Europe.
There are 13 road haulage companies in Gibraltar with a total of 319 employees, of whom 230 are Spanish or citizens of other EU countries. The Gibraltar government, which says it has been in contact with these operators and business organisations since leaving the EU to keep them informed, has issued a statement in which it says that this situation “is clearly not in the interests of anyone and the matter has been taken up with the relevant authorities in the UK and Spain”.
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