From 28 March 2019, bus and coach drivers from the UK will need extra documentation to drive in the EU and EEA.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK bus and coach drivers may also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in the EU and EEA.
Community licences and the Interbus Agreement
Currently, UK bus and coach operators carrying out international journeys must hold a standard international operator’s licence and a community licence for journeys to, from or through the EU and EEA.
As a member of the EU, the UK participates in the Interbus Agreement. This agreement allows bus and coach operators to carry out occasional services between the EU and 7 eastern European countries.
From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, EU countries may not recognise UK issued community licences. The UK’s participation in the Interbus Agreement through EU membership would also cease.
The UK intends to re-join Interbus as an independent member on 29 March 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. This would enable UK operators to run occasional services (coach holidays and tours) into the EU.
There are plans to extend the Interbus Agreement to provide for regular services (scheduled international coach services), but this has not taken effect yet.
The Interbus Agreement does not allow cabotage. So, a UK operator would not be able to pick up and drop off the same passengers within the EU.
If necessary, the UK will also seek to put in place bilateral agreements with countries at the earliest opportunity to provide bus and coach access to the EU.
Prepare for the Interbus Agreement
Operators of occasional services
The Interbus arrangements for occasional services are very similar to the current EU arrangements. Coach holiday and tour operators should consider what they would need to do if there is a gap between 29 March 2019 and Interbus coming into force. For example, could you contract coach travel to EU-based operators?
Operators of regular services
We do not know when Interbus will cover regular services. Operators of scheduled international coach services should consider what they would need to do until then. For example, could you contract coach travel to EU-based operators?
Driver CPC for bus and coach drivers
Bus and coach drivers need a Driver CPC qualification to drive in the EU and EEA.
Drivers operating on a non-commercial basis or driving vehicles with up to 8 passenger seats do not need a Driver CPC.
From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, EU and EEA countries may not recognise UK-issued Driver CPC.
When the UK joins the Interbus Agreement, UK bus and coach drivers with a UK Driver CPC would be able to drive for work in the EU and EEA.
UK nationals working for EU companies and driving in the EU and EEA will need a Driver CPC issued by an EU or EEA country.
Before 29 March 2019 drivers can exchange their UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC. To do this driver must apply to the relevant body in an EU or EEA country.
Prepare for bus and coach Driver CPC
Determine if you should exchange your UK Driver CPC for an EU or EEA Driver CPC.
Check who needs Driver CPC to drive a lorry, bus or coach.