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Licences for road hauliers

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Road hauliers in the EU must have one or more licences. In the Netherlands, you apply for licences from the National and International Road Transport OrganisationExternal link (Nationale en Internationale Wegvervoer Organisatie, NIWO) (Dutch). The licence you require depends on the destination of the cargo you are transporting.

Own transport

Having your own transport means you transport freight for your own company. You do not need a permit to do so. You must, however, be able to demonstrate that you are transporting your own goods. In countries outside the EU, you may sometimes need a journey authorisation.

Transport within the EU

A Euro licenceExternal link is compulsory for:

  • commercial goods transport in the Netherlands for freight vehicles with a load-bearing capacity exceeding 500 kg.
  • cross-border commercial goods transport within the EU involving freight vehicles with a maximum permitted weight exceeding 3500 kg.

Transport outside the EU

In most cases, transport outside the EU also requires a journey authorisation or an ECMT permit in addition to a Euro licence. With an ECMT permit, you can transport goods from, to and via countries that are party to the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) agreement, provided you comply with the ECMT’s emission and safety requirements.

Driver's attestation

If you hire non-EU lorry drivers, they are only allowed to drive your lorries if they have a driver's attestation issued by the Dutch National and International Road Transport Organisation (NIWO). To be able to apply for the attestationExternal link (PDF) (Dutch), they need a valid work permit and a driver's certificate of professional competence.

Cabotage

If a transport company from an EU member state transports goods between 2 points within the borders of another Member State, this will constitute cabotage. Carriers may undertake no more than 3 cabotage trips in another country. After that, they have to cross the border again. In the Netherlands, the Human Environment and Transport InspectorateExternal link (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport, ILT) enforces this rule.

Dispensation abnormal load

In the Netherlands, an 'abnormal load' is a vehicle that is heavier and larger than normally allowed by law. If you are responsible for transporting an abnormal load, you must apply for dispensation to the Netherlands Vehicle AuthorityExternal link (RDW), of which there are 3 types. The General Terms and Conditions for Exceptional TransportExternal link (Algemene Voorwaarden voor Exceptioneel Transport, AVET) (PDF) are often applied to abnormal loads in the Netherlands. The AVET stipulate obligations and liabilities for both the carrier and the sender.

ATP test for refrigerator trucks

If you plan to transport perishable goods abroad using an insulated refrigerated vehicle, a so-called ATP testExternal link (Dutch) carried out by RDW is compulsory. Following this inspection an ATP certificate is issued .

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

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