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Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Operators' licences

Operators' licences

1.—(1) Subject to subsection (2) and section 3, a person shall not use a goods vehicle on a road for the carriage of goods—

(a)for hire or reward, or

(b)for or in connection with any trade or business carried on by that person,

except under a licence issued under this Act; and in this Act such a licence is referred to as an “operator’s licence”.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to—

(a)the use of a small goods vehicle;

(b)the use of a goods vehicle for international carriage by a haulier established in a member State other than the United Kingdom and not established in the United Kingdom;

(c)the use of a goods vehicle for international carriage by a haulier established in Great Britain and not established in Northern Ireland; or

(d)the use of a vehicle of any class specified in regulations.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(a) a goods vehicle is a small goods vehicle if—

(a)it does not form part of a vehicle combination and—

(i)it has a relevant plated weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, or

(ii)in the case of a vehicle which does not have a relevant plated weight, it has an unladen weight not exceeding 1525 kilograms; or

(b)it forms part of a vehicle combination and complies with such conditions as may be prescribed;

and “relevant plated weight” in paragraph (a) means a plated weight of the description specified in relation to that paragraph by regulations.

(4) In subsection (2)(b) and (c) “established”, “haulier” and “international carriage” have the same meaning as in Community Council Regulation (EEC) No 881/92 dated 26 March 1992 concerning access to the market in the carriage of goods by road within the Community to or from the territory of a member State or passing across the territory of one or more member States.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, the performance by a statutory body of its functions constitutes the carrying on of a business.

(6) A person who uses a vehicle in contravention of this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(7) In this section “statutory body” means a body established by a statutory provision.

“Standard” and “restricted” licences

2.—(1) An operator’s licence may be either a standard licence or a restricted licence.

(2) A standard licence is an operator’s licence under which a goods vehicle may be used on a road for the carriage of goods—

(a)for hire or reward, or

(b)for or in connection with any trade or business carried on by the holder of the licence.

(3) A restricted licence is an operator’s licence under which a goods vehicle may be used on a road for the carriage of goods for or in connection with any trade or business carried on by the holder of the licence, other than that of carrying goods for hire or reward.

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (3), a company may use a goods vehicle on a road for the carriage of goods for hire or reward under a restricted licence instead of a standard licence if (but only if) the goods concerned are the property of a company which is—

(a)a subsidiary of the first company,

(b)a holding company for the first company, or

(c)a subsidiary of a company which is a holding company both for that subsidiary and for the first company.

(5) A standard licence may authorise a goods vehicle to be used for the carriage of goods by road—

(a)on both national and international transport operations; or

(b)on national transport operations only.

(6) Except as provided in subsection (4) and subject to section 3, a person who uses a goods vehicle under a restricted licence for carrying goods for hire or reward is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(7) A person who uses a goods vehicle for carrying goods by road for hire or reward on international transport operations under a standard licence which covers the carriage of goods on national transport operations only is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Temporary exemptions

3.—(1) The Department may, for the purpose of—

(a)enabling an emergency to be dealt with, or

(b)enabling some other special need to be met,

by notice grant to any person falling within subsection (2) a temporary exemption from any requirement to hold a standard licence which would otherwise be imposed by sections 1 and 2 in respect of any vehicle specified in the notice or any vehicle of a class so specified.

(2) A person falls within this subsection if the person is engaged exclusively in national transport operations which have only a minor impact on the transport market because of the nature of the goods carried or the short distances over which goods are carried.

(3) A temporary exemption granted under subsection (1) permits the person to whom it is granted to use the specified vehicle or (as the case may be) any vehicle of the specified class for the carriage of goods by road for hire or reward for the purposes of transport operations such as are referred to in subsection (2) (and, accordingly, sections 1(1) and 2(6) shall not to that extent apply to that person’s use of goods vehicles).

(4) A temporary exemption has effect until consultations with the European Commission for the purposes of Article 2(2) of the 1996 Council Directive are completed.

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