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Transport and Logistics

Published: 20 February 2020
From: Department of the Taoiseach

As an island, Ireland is very dependent on maritime and air transport connectivity for imports and exports, as well as the movement of people. The UK landbridge is also very important for the distribution of goods, as is the use of direct shipping routes to continental EU ports.

The landbridge describes the route to market connecting Irish importers and exporters to international markets via the UK road and ports network. It is particularly important for short shelf-life products.

For the duration of the transition period, the landbridge can function as it did when the UK was a member of the EU. After the transition period, there will be implications for the continued use of the UK as an efficient and reliable route to other markets.

The Government continues to work with our EU partners to maintain air and road connectivity after the transition period and to facilitate continued trade and economic development.

We want to minimise disruption to the UK landbridge while recognising that direct shipping routes to continental ports could provide potential alternative routes for traders who currently rely on the landbridge.

An overview of the key steps for moving your goods through ports in Ireland can be found here here .


Airlines that may be affected by these areas are already acutely aware of the potential impacts of Brexit. Government has been engaging on these issues with the aviation sector, including through the National Civic Aviation Development Forum. The Political Declaration agreed between the EU and the UK states that the parties "should ensure passenger and cargo air connectivity through a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement". This will be negotiated as part of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

After the transition period, the European Aviation Safety Agency, UK issued certificates and licences will not be valid for EU operations and activities. Holders of those certificates and licences should consult EASA and take the necessary steps to achieve European certification or licensing where that is possible.

Transporting goods through the UK by road - via the landbridge

For the duration of the transition period, the landbridge can function as it did when the UK was a member of the EU.

After the transition period, businesses will still be able to move goods between Ireland and other EU countries by road through the landbridge. However, the way you use the landbridge will change.

The Government will continue to work with our EU partners to put in place systems aimed at minimising disruption for Irish and EU traders.

To use the UK landbridge efficiently after the transition period, businesses should:

  • Visit Revenue for further details on the Customs Transit Procedure, the NCTS and to apply to use transit simplifications, including how to become an authorised consignor/consignee.
  • Work with your bank or a customs agents/logistics provider to ensure you have the necessary comprehensive financial guarantee in place.
  • Register via the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) on the EU’s TRACES system if you are moving animals, animal products, hay or straw.
  • If not availing of the simplified customs transit procedure, familiarise yourself with location of the appropriate offices of departure/destination for opening or closing the intra-community transit movement - many offices may not be open 24/7.
  • Be aware of any routing and procedural changes within ports.

More information is available online from Revenue and DAFM . An overview of the key steps for moving your goods through ports in Ireland can be found here .

Operators may also find the following external resources useful: the European Commission lists all transit offices online; the French , Dutch and Belgian authorities have useful Brexit-specific customs and transit resources; and the ports of Calais , Rotterdam and Zeebrugge have Brexit resources available online. The UK Government has also published advice for hauliers.

Road haulage

For the duration of the transition period, Irish hauliers will continue to have access to and through the UK. Access after the transition period will depend on the outcome of future relationship negotiations. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Driver licences

UK, including Northern Ireland, licences continue to be valid when driving in Ireland during the transition period.

If you will be resident in Ireland after the transition period, and hold a British or Northern Ireland driving licence, you should apply to exchange this for an Irish issued licence before the end of the transition period.

Contact the National Driving Licence Service for more information.

Visiting Ireland on a UK licence: UK visitors to Ireland are not affected, there is no reason that you will not be able to drive in Ireland for holidays with your existing driving licence. You should not be required to carry an International Driving Permit with you in order to drive here, just ensure to carry your UK driving licence with you.

Driving in the UK on an Irish licence: The UK Government has advised that arrangements for EU licence holders who are visiting or living there will not change after the UK leaves the EU. Therefore, visitors to the UK and Northern Ireland with driving licences from EU Member States, including Ireland, should enjoy the same arrangements as today.

Certificates of Professional Competence

There are also potential issues around UK issued Certificates of Professional Competence (CPC) for Drivers and Transport Managers and their continued validity after the transition period and recognition of such in Ireland.

Driver CPC: UK CPCs will be recognised for the duration of the transition period. A driver with a UK CPC who is resident in Ireland or working for an Irish company should exchange the UK CPC for an Irish CPC before the end of the transition period. .

Transport Manager CPC: There is no change in relation to Transport Manager CPC requirements during the transition period. It may be the case that after the transition period UK issued Transport Manager CPCs will no longer be recognised within the EU and UK resident Transport Managers will no longer be able to work as Transport Managers for EU based Community licence holders. These issues will depend on the outcome of future relationship negotiations. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Motor Insurance and Green Cards (Proof of insurance)

At present, all motor vehicles from any EU country (including the UK) may travel within the EU without carrying special documentation to prove that they have insurance in the country they are visiting. This will change following the transition period.

Following the transition period, a certificate called a ‘Green Card’ which is issued by your insurer, and proves that the vehicle is insured, will be required for vehicles from the UK, including Northern Ireland, being driven in Ireland or other EU Member States, unless a further agreement is in place.

This means that as it stands, following the transition period, UK and Northern Ireland registered vehicles will require a Green Card for cross-border journeys, including North to South, on the island of Ireland.

A Green Card is a document that proves you have motor insurance cover when driving in another jurisdiction.

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