EU travel limits for touring UK musicians to be eased

EU travel limits for touring UK musicians to be eased

A new dual registration policy will enable British specialist hauliers, including those which transport equipment for concert tours and various cultural events, to travel freely between the UK and the EU post-Brexit.

Hauliers will be able to make unlimited international trips under the new rules, with British specialist hauliers having previously been limited to only three EU stops per tour since the UK officially left the EU. Under new rules, haulage companies will also not have to play Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the UK for six months.

The new policy will come into effect as of late summer, and has been cautiously welcomed by many music industry bodies. However, they say, it still does not solve all of the problems thrown up by Brexit, as British musicians continue to face ongoing bureaucracy and costs related to touring around the EU after representatives from the EU and the UK Government failed to agree a deal on the matter in December 2019.

Industry experts also said the change in policy is limited in that it only applies to haulage companies with a base in both the UK and abroad. The Department for Transport said this will allow companies to transfer their vehicle between both operator licences without the need to change vehicles or have their journeys limited, so smaller UK-based operations will not have this privilege.

Music industry group UK Music said the rule change was “important progress for UK musicians and crew looking to tour the EU”, but the organisation’s chief executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, told the BBC that issues still remained around the transportation of musicians and equipment between the UK and EU.

He added that UK Music would continue to work with the government to resolve this as it is “vital that UK musicians and crew can tour and work freely in the EU”.

Read DJ Mag’s feature on what Brexit has meant for UK and EU artists intending to tour, originally published at the start of 2021, here.

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