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Brexit: Summer tours saved by temporary legislation

The 'big five' haulage companies will be granted dual registration, allowing their concert hauliers to move freely between the UK and Europe

By IQ on 11 Apr 2022

Concert hauliers

Over 100 European summer tours put at risk by the post-Brexit trade deal will be able to go ahead, thanks to extensive lobbying from LIVE and others.

Under cabotage restrictions now in force across the whole of Europe following the UK’s exit from the EU, trucks carrying tour equipment over 3.5 tonnes are limited to just three stops before they have to leave the EU and return to the UK.

However, the British Department for Transport (DfT) has now agreed to bring in a short-term, temporary license that would allow the ‘big five’ haulage companies to operate their vehicles under both GB and EU operating licenses according to where their vehicles are needed for a particular tour.

Craig Stanley, tour producer for Marshall Arts and chair of the LIVE touring group, says he identified more than 110 European tours scheduled to take place this summer that were at risk because of cabotage restrictions – all of which can now go ahead.

“This mechanism is most welcome news for the industry,” says Stanley. “Extensive lobbying by LIVE and others in the live music industry means that the government now has a clear understanding of the complexities and issues faced by the whole sector,” he says.

“The government now has a clear understanding of the complexities and issues faced by the whole sector”

According to Stanley, secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps has committed to lay amendments to existing transport regulations before parliament after the summer recess to secure the formal implementation of dual registration.

However, in order to be registered in the EU, concert haulage companies will need a European yard which, as Stanley points out, is a huge expense. “They’d need a bonafide office that is tax registered and upholds all the regulations of that country,” he explains.

Therefore, while the live music industry has welcomed dual registration as a quick workaround solution, it is still calling for a cultural exemption to allow the free movement of trucks.

“The cultural exemption needs to be reciprocal because the UK has its own cabotage regulations, which means that the Europeans are prevented from coming to work here as we are prevented to go and work there,” explains Stanley.

LIVE is continuing to lobby the British government and Strasbourg to allow haulage operators of all sizes using different types of vehicle to move freely between shows.


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