Why does Brexit matter for you?
The United Kingdom submitted on 29 March 2017 the notification of its intention to withdraw from the Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This means that, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, all Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h (CET) ('the withdrawal date'). The United Kingdom will then become a 'third country'.
If no withdrawal agreement is in place on 30 March 2019 the EU Treaties will cease to apply to the UK. It is understood that, should there be "no deal", there will be no transition period and EU law (in particular, the Single Market) will cease to apply to the UK/EU relationship from that date.
Preparing for the withdrawal is not just a matter for EU and national authorities, but also for private parties. As the British government publishes a series of technical notices outlining how businesses should prepare in the event of a no-deal it is becoming more and more clear that a “no deal” scenario will have many unwanted and adverse effects on companies in the UK.
In case of a hard Brexit, what will change?
Certificate of professional competence for road transport operators/transport managers:
According to Articles 3(1)(d), 4(1) and 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009, natural persons engaged in the occupation of road transport operator in the EU and transport managers employed by an undertaking engaged in the occupation of road transport operator have to hold a certificate of professional competence issued by authorities of a EU Member State.
As of the withdrawal date, certificates of professional competence issued by an authority of the United Kingdom or a body authorised by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU-27.
Driver attestation for third-country drivers:
According to Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009,5 international carriage shall be subject to a Community licence and, when the driver is a national of a third country, in conjunction with a driver attestation.
Thus, as of the withdrawal date, drivers who are United Kingdom nationals and do not constitute long-term residents in the Union and who work for a Union haulier holding a Community licence require a driver attestation.
In accordance with Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1072/20097 , this driver attestation shall be issued by the competent authorities of the Member State of establishment of the haulier holding a Community licence.
Certificate of professional competence for drivers:
In accordance with Directive 2003/59/EC9 , drivers in the Union of a vehicle intended for the carriage of goods or for the carriage of passengers need to hold a certificate of professional competence certifying the initial qualification or periodic training and issued by competent authorities of an EU Member State or by an approved training centre in an EU Member State.
Drivers who are nationals of an EU Member State obtain their initial qualification in the EU Member State of their normal residence while drivers who are nationals of third countries do this in the EU Member State which issued a work permit to them.
As of the withdrawal date, certificates of professional competence issued by the United Kingdom or by an approved training centre in the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU-27.
As of the withdrawal date, drivers who are nationals of the United Kingdom but employed by an undertaking established in the Union or Union nationals resident in the United Kingdom but employed by an undertaking established in the Union will have to follow the professional drivers training in the EU-27 Member State where the undertaking employing them is established.
ACCESS TO THE PROFESSION / TO THE MARKET
According to Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009, undertakings engaged in the occupation of road transport operator in the Union must have an effective and stable establishment in an EU Member State. As of the withdrawal date, undertakings that have their establishment in the United Kingdom will no longer fulfil this requirement.
According to Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009, an undertaking which engages in the occupation of road transport operator shall designate a transport manager. In accordance with Article 4(1)(c) of that Regulation, this transport manager has to be resident in the Union. As of the withdrawal date, transport managers resident in the United Kingdom working for a Union road transport operator will no longer fulfil this requirement.
The international carriage of goods in the Union is subject to possession of a Community licence, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009. These Community licences can only be issued by the competent authorities of the EU Member State in which the haulier is established and where such haulier is entitled to carry out the international carriage of goods by road.
As of the withdrawal date, a Community licence issued by the competent authorities of the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the EU-27. Hauliers established in the United Kingdom will no longer have access to the internal road haulage market in the Union. This means, in particular, that United Kingdom hauliers will no longer be able to perform cabotage operations within any of the EU-27 Member States.
How can we help you?
Our specialists are ready to guide your company through the swamp of regulatory issues in a post-Brexit landscape.
We provide advice on incorporating a company in Belgium in case you need to relocate or in case you need a EU – based company to continue your business.
Belgian government is working on creating an entrepreneur-friendly environment: corporate tax rate has been decreased to 29% and will further be lowered to 25% in 2020. SMEs will benefit a decrease in the rate to 20% (on the first tranche of 100.000 Euro), corporate law will be reformed by 2019 and provides more flexible corporate entities and less strenuous formalities.
Belgium is ideally positioned at the heart of Europe to continue your activities on the mainland.
Brexit has been delayed (shortly)
The draft Withdrawal Agreement: are we there yet?
It certainly buys more time.