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Major boost for live music and touring industry specialist hauliers to move more freely between countries

Hauliers serving music concerts, sports and cultural events will be able to move their vehicles freely between Great Britain and the EU thanks to new measures for the haulage sector announced today (6 May 2022).

  • New provisions for specialist hauliers will ensure British talent can tour more freely between Great Britain and abroad
  • ‘Dual registration’ will be created following consultation with the specialist haulier touring sector, and will let hauliers drive the same vehicle in Great Britain and abroad
  • Specialist events hauliers will be able to transfer their vehicles between operator licences without needing to pay additional Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in Great Britain for six months.

Designed in consultation with the live music, performing arts and sports sectors, the new ‘dual registration’ measure is expected to come into force from late Summer 2022. It will apply to specialist hauliers that transport equipment for cultural events, such as concert tours or sports events.

‘Dual registration’ will mean drivers with an established base in Great Britain and in another country outside of the UK will be able to transfer their vehicle between both operator licences without the need to change vehicles, have their journeys limited or pay Vehicle Excise Duty in Great Britain.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“British talent has long been at the heart of global performing arts and our specialist haulage sector is critical to the success of their tours.

“It is unacceptable that because of EU bureaucracy, the operations of our specialist haulage sector on which our artists rely have been put at risk, impacting the livelihoods of touring artists and sportspeople.

“Dual registration helps put this right and means that touring events can place seamlessly across Great Britain, the EU and beyond, keeping our incredible cultural sector thriving for years to come.”

Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez said: "Live events are at the heart of the entertainment and sports industries - giving fans and performers unique and memorable experiences.

 "I welcome this move which will better enable Britain's creative talent to grow their audiences, showcase their work abroad and make sure people across Europe have the chance to see many of their heroes on their doorstep."

Since the UK’s departure from the EU, British specialist hauliers have been limited to visiting just three EU stops per tour. However, under the new legislation companies with operating bases in both Great Britain and another international location can switch vehicles between the respective operator licences and make use of the internal movements permitted within each territory. This opportunity applies not just to the EU, but also to other countries, opening our doors to cultural exchange from all over the world.

We are continuing to work closely with our EU partners and the live music industry to ensure that smaller artists can continue to tour freely around the world.

Tarrant Anderson, Company Director of Vans for Bands, said: "We are really pleased that DfT have engaged in detail with our sector on this critical issue and have come up with a solution to keep the live music touring industry moving - without this initiative a large number of tours this year would simply have been unable to take place."

Craig Stanley, Touring Group Chair, LIVE (the voice of the UK's live music business) said: “We are delighted that our close work with Government has paid off, and welcome this move which will allow European music tours to continue this summer.

“We now look forward to working with Government on options to permanently resolve this issue, such as the negotiation of an EU-wide cultural exemption.”


Notes to editors

  • Dual registration only applies to Great Britain, with operator licensing devolved in Northern Ireland.
  • The legislation will come into force from late Summer 2022, pending parliamentary procedures, and enable specialist event hauliers to transfer vehicles between a base in both Great Britain and abroad without the need to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) when driving their vehicles in the UK.
  • The vehicle can only be used in Great Britain for up to six months in any twelve-month period, due to the rules on importing vehicles. This can be a single visit or several shorter visits over twelve months. Under current rules, any foreign-registered vehicle being transferred onto a Great Britain operator licence would have to be registered in the UK and pay VED.