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            Cabotage is the transport of goods by an EU operator has to undertake road haulage operations within an EU Member state other than his own. 

            For Transport advice, please contact us on 0161 603 5389.

            What is Cabotage?

            Cabotage is the transport of goods by an EU operator has to undertake road haulage operations within an EU Member state other than his own. 

            The rules around Cabotage enables an operator to enter an EU Member State on an international journey, deliver goods and then allows the operator to collect further goods for journeys within that same EU Member State prior to leaving that member state. 

            There are limitations to this right: the rules stipulate that such journeys must be temporary, non-permanent and irregular.

            How many journeys can be undertaken under Cabotage rules?

            Once the goods of an incoming international journey have been delivered, holders of a Community Authorisation are now only permitted to carry out up to three Cabotage operations within a 7 day period.  

            What are the consequences of breaching the Cabotage rules?

            Vehicles registered outside of the UK are routinely checked by DVSA at the roadside for Cabotage breaches. 

            Persistent breaches of the EU Cabotage rules could mean the operator falls outside the scope of a Community Authorisation and therefore must possess a UK Operators Licence. Failure to acquire or hold such may result in the offending vehicle being impounded.

            How can DWF help?

            DWF's Road Transport and Logistics team has vast experience in Cabotage matters, including:

            • Challenging Fixed Penalty Notices;
            • Recovering impounded vehicles. 
            • Where an operator licence in the UK is required, guiding operators through the entire process of establishing a successful presence in the UK. 

            For advice and information for establishing a transport business in the UK, click here.

            Vikki Woodfine

            • Partner // Head of Road Transport & Logistics // Head of Regulatory Compliance & Investigations (North West)

            Joanne Witheford

            • Deputy Head of Road Haulage & Logistics // Senior Associate

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