Gibraltar reciprocates as local hauliers face additional post-Brexit bureaucracy in Spain

9th February 2022

European Union hauliers, including those from Spain, will require a permit to operate in Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Government said on Tuesday, adding the move was reciprocal in response to changes affecting Gibraltar-registered commercial vehicles.

The Government said drivers of Gibraltar-registered commercial vehicles had been given notice that they will need a permit, or an employment contract in Spain, to continue operating in Spain after March1, 2022.

It said this was as a consequence of Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union and the end of the transition period.

“In line with the policy of reciprocity, which is the accepted standard in international relations, the Government will also require European Union hauliers, including Spanish operators, to equally require a permit in order to operate in Gibraltar,” No.6 Convent Place said.

“An information leaflet will be distributed to all commercial vehicles coming in through the border which will spell out, in different languages, the reason for the change in approach and the steps that they need to take in order to regularise their position.”

No.6 said a short period of adjustment would be permitted in order to enable EU hauliers to comply with the arrangements.

It added the “logical consequence” of the change would be that hauliers without a permit would be required to unload their goods at the border and transfer the load to a Gibraltar-registered company for onwards local delivery inside Gibraltar.

The end of the EU legal framework for the carriage of goods and passengers has led the United Kingdom to apply for the extension to Gibraltar of the relevant Council of Europe -not EU - international conventions.

These have been held up in the Council of Europe even though the issue could have been resolved “in an instant” through such extensions, the Gibraltar Government said.

“The Government has been in contact with Gibraltar’s operators and business organisations since our departure from the European Union, in the run-up to the end of the transition period, in order to appraise them of the situation,” No.6 added in a statement.

“There are 13 road haulage companies in Gibraltar with 319 employees of whom 230 are EU or Spanish citizens.”

“This is clearly not in the interests of anyone and the matter has been taken up with the relevant authorities in the UK and Spain.”

Today we wake up to the news that our GSLP-Liberal Alliance Government have imposed, as from 1st March 2022, on EU hauliers, which will include those from Spain, the need to have a permit to operate in Gibraltar. That seems unwise, as it will cause self-harm.

It has the potential of bureaucratically impeding and undermining our wholesale and retail trade from, and of increasing the cost of, maintaining essentials, stocks, and goods. We would all suffer from any shortages.

Our Government should think of not cutting our nose to spite our face. We should be selfish and self-centred, and ensure that we do what is best for ourselves, irrespective of what the EU obliges Spain to do. Otherwise, the increased delay and cost caused by our Government’s action will fall on each of us, or encourage us to make our purchases in Spain, at a cheaper cost.

A question that arises is, why were international conventions, which would have avoided the problem, not extended to Gibraltar by the UK already?

Continued at link.

1 Like