Fleets which run vans travelling into the EU will face more requirements when new compliance regulations come into force later this year, software firm Fleetcheck has said.

From 21 May, operators of 2.5-3.5t vans will require an International Operator’s Licence as part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Requirements include appointing a designated transport manager with a valid International Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence qualification, as well as a range of commitments to systems monitoring areas such as maintenance and drivers.

Fleetcheck managing director Peter Golding said: “This represents quite a jump in the level of responsibility for fleets who find themselves in this position. Until now, they’ll have operated 2.5-3.5 tonne vans using the same arrangements as for cars and the smallest LCVs.

“Now, however, they will be placed under a range of much more stringent demands, from professional qualifications to audit systems to show that they are meeting a whole series of fleet management standards.

“Especially when it comes to vehicle maintenance and drivers, there is a lot of specific information required in much more detail and meeting more stringent requirements than these fleets will have recorded previously.

“For most, there’s probably a real-world decision to be made – is it worth the additional cost and commitment for the level of business that each company undertakes in the EU? If the answer is yes, there is quite a lot of work that needs doing between now and May.”

Golding said Fleetcheck was already working with some of its fleet customers to help them extend their existing International O licence arrangements to vehicles affected by the new move and had also received enquiries from companies looking to upgrade their systems.

“As soon as businesses start looking at the demands of the licence, they tend to quite quickly conclude that some kind of digital infrastructure is the best way to move forward because of the need to record information across wide areas in an auditable fashion. 

“It’s not impossible using paper systems but it is difficult, time consuming and much more prone to human error.”