Transporting freight in Europe is only possible when the correct licenses have been obtained from the regulatory bodies that govern the movement of goods throughout Europe.
In this short blog, we’ll highlight 3 of these licenses and list the countries they permit carriers to transport goods in, as well as how these licenses are typically validated before a forwarder awards a carrier an order.
What are the main transport licenses in Europe?
1. A National Road Haulage Operator License / Road Transport Operating License
This license permits you to carry your goods within the country the permit is specified for.
2. The European Community License (EU/Euro License)
This license permits road haulage in 27 EU countries and 5 other countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
3. The European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT)
This license permits road haulage in 43 ECMT member countries:
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK
When validating any of the licenses above you can check the following:
1. The license number
2. Trade name
3. Vehicle Registration number
4. Operator type
5. An official stamp from the issuing authority.
Usually all 5 of these items are present on each type of license. There are databases that you can check the license numbers against to make sure that they are valid or you can also contact the issuing authority.
For example you can cross check EU licenses for Dutch companies here:
In addition to the checks above, some dispatchers will also check the carriers ADR card, if they’re transporting dangerous goods as well as check the carriers insurance documentation, to make sure that they’re covered in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.
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