Jump to main content

Changes to Cabotage restrictions announced

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced new provisions for specialist hauliers aimed at ensuring British artists can tour more freely between Great Britain and the EU.

The new measure, called ‘dual registration’, will allow specialist hauliers working on touring to register their vehicles in both the UK and the EU order to travel between Britain and the EU without cabotage restrictions.

The measure is temporary and will benefit large haulage companies working on extensive tours.

However, as ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts points out, it is not a solution for all touring companies and artists.

While this announcement is welcome news for large hauliers, it is not a fix for the entirety of the music sector.

Organisations such as orchestras that have their own specialist vehicles for touring are not likely to benefit and still face the difficulties and significant expense of cabotage. Medium-sized hauliers supporting smaller-scale tours may not have the resources to take advantage of “dual registration”.

The Transport Secretary should treat this announcement as one step towards fixing the issues with cabotage and work towards a cultural exemption from cabotage. That is the measure that will benefit all touring musicians and industries.

The UK Government has precedent for cabotage exemptions from the temporary exemption implemented for international hauliers working in the UK to provide support for supply chains while the shortage of HGV drivers is addressed.

Much more detail is required regarding ‘dual registration’ in order to review the full benefits of the scheme, as well as those who will not benefit.

Although there is no confirmed date regarding when the scheme will take effect, the Department for Transport has said ‘late summer’.