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More Work to be Done Following Positive News on International Music Tour Travel Limits

The Government has announced that UK hauliers working on music concerts, sporting and cultural events will be able to make unlimited international trips. However, small haulage companies undertaking medium sized tours with only a small fleet are still bound by the cabotage rules.

Published: 09 May 2022 | 2:49 PM Updated: 09 May 2022 | 5:35 PM
The red cab of a haulage truck is speeding down a rural road.
The relaxation of some rules is a temporary fix and only one part of the story. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Government’s new dual registration laws will apply to haulage companies with a base in the UK and another abroad, the Department for Transport said. It means they will be able to transfer their vehicle between both operator licences without the need to change vehicles or have their journeys limited. They will also not have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the UK for six months.

The new rules will apply to travel not just to the EU, but also to other countries. Musicians should take note that Carnets and merchandise rules will still apply. MU members can find out more in the Union’s Working in the EU advice hub.

Small haulage companies are still bound by the cabotage rules

The relaxation of some rules is good news for the big hauliers, featured artists and MU members engaged to play on those tours. But this is a temporary fix and only one part of the story.

Small haulage companies undertaking medium sized tours with only a small fleet are still bound by the cabotage rules. These small hauliers simply don’t have the resources to finance two operations in the UK and EU.

The MU continues to engage with the Government on some kind of cultural exemption for all cultural event hauliers. Work is also ongoing in the orchestral sector to secure a similar arrangement for ‘own account’ operators (orchestras who own their own single specialist vehicle for tours).

Thanks to MU lobbying, last year the Government confirmed that musicians in splitter vans can move freely and are not restricted by the cabotage arrangements as previously announced.

Find out more by visiting the Union’s Working in the EU advice hub.

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Take Part in the MU’s New Survey on Touring in the EU Post Brexit

Your answers are key to helping us assess the impact leaving the EU has had on touring musicians, and if our specialist information and guidance has been useful or needs improving. Your feedback is also vital in shaping our work when liaising with government.

Published: 03 April 2024

Read more about Take Part in the MU’s New Survey on Touring in the EU Post Brexit