The Department for Transport has extended the deadline for transport operators to apply for ECMT permits to 18th January.
Operators will need ECMT permits to continue working in the European Union in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The European Commission put forward proposals for short-term road freight access on 19th December. However, the DfT said that until the detail on these proposals was agreed, operators should continue with their contingency planning.
Operators can no longer be able to apply for a short-term permit, but applicants that are not successful in applying for an annual permit will be automatically considered for a short-term permit.
Annual and short-term permits will be allocated for 2019 after the application period has ended at 11.59pm on 18 January.
* Transport secretary Chris Grayling has defended the decision to award a £13.8 million contract to Seaborne Freight to run a ferry service between Ramsgate and Ostend despite the fact that the company has no ships.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, Grayling said the government had put in place a tight contract to ensure Seaborne Freight could deliver.
Seaborne is one of three ferry operators which have been contracted to provide additional services in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The others are DFDS and Brittany Ferries.
Seaborne is planning to launch its service ahead of Brexit on 29th March. In a statement on its web site it said that it would start recruiting staff during January 2019.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said the announcement of additional freight capacity at a number of ports and the relaunch of Ramsgate/Ostend is welcome, but warned against it being seen as a solution to ‘no-deal’ chaos at ports.
On the Seaborne contract, he said: “Seaborne Freight has three months to source the vessels, recruit and train staff, and put all the infrastructure in place to launch the service before we leave the EU. It sounds like a very tall order.”