Community licence for carriage of goods

The Community licence is necessary if an operator wants to engage in the national or international carriage of goods for a charge using a motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles the permissible laden mass of which exceeds 3,500 kilograms and the design speed of which exceeds 40 kilometres per hour.

International as well as the national carriage of goods that have been specified in Article 1(5) of Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009 may be organised without a Community licence, if not provided otherwise by an international agreement:

  1. carriage of mail as a universal service;
  2. carriage of vehicles which have suffered damage or breakdown;
  3. carriage of goods in motor vehicles the permissible laden mass of which, including that of trailers, does not exceed 3.5 tonnes;
  4. carriage of goods in motor vehicles provided the following conditions are fulfilled:
    • the goods carried are the property of the undertaking or have been sold, bought, let out on hire or hired, produced, extracted, processed or repaired by the undertaking;
    • the purpose of the journey is to carry the goods to or from the undertaking or to move them, either inside or outside the undertaking for its own requirements;
    • motor vehicles used for such carriage are driven by personnel employed by, or put at the disposal of, the undertaking under a contractual obligation;
    • the vehicles carrying the goods are owned by the undertaking, have been bought by it on deferred terms or have been hired provided that in the latter case they meet the
    • conditions of Directive 2006/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 January 2006 on the use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road. The provisions of this clause shall not apply to the use of a replacement vehicle during a short breakdown of the vehicle normally used;
    • such carriage is no more than ancillary to the overall activities of the undertaking.
  5. carriage of medicinal products, appliances, equipment and other articles required for medical care in emergency relief, in particular for natural disasters.

The following national carriage may be engaged in without the licence:

  1. carriage of snow and ice in conjunction with snow-clearing or de-icing;
  2. carriage of agricultural products by an agricultural producer to a buyer or processor within the radius of 65 kilometres from the place of business of the agricultural producer;
  3. carriage of firewood or wood chips by a timber industry undertaking to a buyer or processor within the radius of 50 kilometres from the place of business of the timber industry undertaking;
  4. carriage of the deceased;
  5. carriage of waste, effluent, wastewater and garbage;
  6. carriage in a concrete mixer truck;
  7. carriage in a combination of vehicles that consists of an automobile and a trailer whose laden mass does not exceed 3,500 kilograms;
  8. carriage in a combination of vehicles that consists of a special power-driven vehicle that is not designated for the carriage of goods and a trailer whose laden mass does not exceed 3,500 kilograms;
  9. carriage of vehicles designated for the organisation of a sports event or for competing as well as carriage of a vehicle, animal or equipment by a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles whose laden mass does not exceed 7,500 kilograms.

The licence is issued for ten years, if the applicant does not require it for a shorter period. Based on the public law contract concluded with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, licence applications are processed and the licence shall be issued by the Association of Estonian International Road

  • Road Transport Act (hereinafter AutoVS);
  • Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator and repealing Council Directive 96/26/EC (Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009);
  • Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for access to the international road haulage market (Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009).

Requirements for the licence applicant and carrier

Carrier is a person entered in the commercial register or register of non-profit associations and foundations, which holds a Community licence issued on the basis of the AutoVS.

The licence applicant and carrier have to comply with the following requirements:

  • A licence applicant and a carrier must comply with the requirements established in section 7 of the AutoVS and in Article 3(1) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
  • A licence applicant and a carrier must be registered in the commercial register or in the register of non-profit associations and foundations.
  • A licence applicant and a carrier must communicate to the licence issuer the address of their establishment in Estonia where the documents specified in Article 5(a) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council are kept (unless the address overlaps with the address of the establishment of the licence applicant and the carrier registered in the commercial register or in the register of non-profit associations and foundations).
  • A licence applicant and a carrier must be of good repute.
  • The licence applicant and carrier must designate a transport manager and the carriage activities of the carrier must effectively and continuously be managed by at least one transport manager of good repute who is professionally competent. In the event of a change of the transport manager, the carrier must designate a new transport manager who meets the requirements.
  • At least within six months after obtaining the licence, the carrier must have at its disposal at least one motor vehicle designated for the carriage of goods for the verification of which the carrier must have applied for and obtained a copy of the licence.
  • A licence applicant must not have any non-staggered tax arrears that exceed the sum specified in subsection 14 (5) of the Taxation Act and the applicant must not have been declared bankrupt.
  • The licence applicant must warrant in the application that it owns the technical equipment and facilities necessary for conducting carriage operations pursuant to the requirements provided in Article 5(c) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009.
  • The licence applicant must pay to the ERAA a service fee for the issuance of the licence.
  • A carrier must ensure that a driver engaging in the carriage of goods who is at the disposal of the carrier under an employment contract or a contract governed by the law of obligations follows the requirements applicable to the carriage of goods.
  • A carrier must ensure that a driver engaging in the carriage of goods who is at the disposal of the carrier under an employment contract or a contract governed by the law of obligations has completed the professional or continuous training of drivers specified in subsection 36 (1) of the AutoVS and training compliant with the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, which is specified in subsections 39 (1) and (2) where such training is required, and holds a document certifying the completion of such training.

Cross-border operation

If an operator that has been established abroad wants to organise the carriage of goods for a charge in Estonia (unless they are cabotage operations specified in Art 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009), it has to establish an undertaking in Estonia and apply for a licence.

An operator that has been established and to which a licence has been issued in another Member State of the European Union, a contracting state of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, is permitted to engage in the international carriage of goods into or from Estonia on the basis of a licence. If an operator that has been established and to which a licence has been issued in another Member State of the European Union, a contracting state of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation wants to engage in the carriage of goods between Estonia and a third country, it must fulfil the requirements of an international agreement, e.g., apply for a transport permit for carriage into/from a third country (section 22 of the AutoVS).

To engage in cabotage operations in Estonia, an operator that has been established in another Member State of the European Union, a contracting state of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation must fulfil the requirements for cabotage established in Articles 8 and 9 of Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009. An operator that has been established and to which a licence has been issued in Estonia (carrier) may organise national as well as international carriage of goods. To engage in cabotage operations in another Member State of the European Union, a contracting state of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, the carrier must fulfil the requirements for cabotage established in Articles 8 and 9 of Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009.

If an Estonian carrier wants to engage in the carriage of goods into/from a third country, it must fulfil the requirements of an international agreement concluded between Estonia and the third country, e.g., apply for a transport permit for carriage into/from a third country (section 22 of the AutoVS). As a rule, cabotage operations in a third country are prohibited for Estonian carriers and for third country carriers in Estonia pursuant to an international agreement.

Preparation and submission of application

The following documents need to be submitted to obtain a licence:

  • a written application (PDF 60 kB);
  • a document certifying the appointment of a transport manager;
  • a document certifying the professional competence of the transport manager;
  • if, in accordance with Article 4 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 the person has been designated as the transport manager on the basis of an employment contract or, in accordance with Article 4 (2) of the same Regulation, on the basis of another contractual relationship, the document which certifies the designation of the transport manager must bear or be accompanied by particulars on the type, parties, date of conclusion and term of validity of the concluded contract.

The documents required for applying for a Community licence can be submitted to the ERAA:

  • by entering the Register of Economic Activities through the State Portal;
  • on paper
    1. to the Tallinn office of the ERAA (Narva mnt 91, Tallinn 10127) on business days from 09.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00;
    2. to the Tartu branch at Sepa 26 Mon. to Wed. from 09.00 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 17.00; Th. from 09.00 to 14.00 and Fri. from 09.00 to 13.00;
    3. to the Pärnu branch at Lille 4 (AIDE ärikeskus), room 208 Tue. to Th. from 09.00 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 17.00;
  • sent in the digitally signed format to the email address tarvi@eraa.ee or ermo@eraa.ee;
  • by regular mail to the address of the ERAA at Narva mnt 91, 10127 Tallinn;
  • by fax to the number +372 6 062 041 or 606 2045.

The Community licence can be obtained from ERAA Tallinn offices or from another ERAA office suitable to the applicant during work days from 09:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00. The Community licence can be sent to the operator via mail if the applicant prefers so.

Payment of state fee

In order to apply for a Community licence, a service fee of 252 euros (210 euros + VAT) shall be paid. The fee can be paid in cash on the spot, with a debit card or in advance by bank transfer.

Processing of application

The processing of an application shall take up to 30 calendar days. The operator shall be notified of the decision regarding the processing of the application for a licence via a non-priority letter or via e-mail. Upon the expiry of the time limit for deciding over an application for the licence, the licence is not deemed to be issued by default.

The Community licence shall be issued on paper to a legal representative of the applicant or to a person authorised by a legal representative.

If the licence application contains any deficiencies, the applicant shall be given a reasonable time limit for the elimination of the deficiencies. The term for making a decision regarding the application will be suspended until the removal of the deficiency.

A licence is issued for 10 years, unless the applicant requires it for a shorter period. At the end of the duration of a licence a new licence can be applied for if all the requirements imposed upon the applicant are met. The application for obtaining a new licence shall be submitted at least 30 days before the end of the duration of the existing licence.

Changing the conditions of the licence

If there have been any changes in the data contained in the documents submitted for applying for a licence (e.g., when the transport manager changes, any changes in the contact information), the issuer of the licence must be notified thereof in writing within 28 days.

Should any data entered on a Community licence change (for example, the name or address of the enterprise), a new Community licence needs to be applied for.

In the event of the loss, theft or destruction of the licence or change in the carrier’s address entered on that document, a new licence can be applied for, the validity term of which does not exceed the validity term of the licence being replaced. In order to apply for a replacement document of the licence, a service fee of 21.60 euros (18 euros + VAT) shall be paid to the ERAA. The fee can be paid in cash on the spot, with a debit card, or in advance by bank transfer.

Suspension of the validity of the licence by the operator and termination of economic activities

If an operator wishes to suspend the validity of a licence temporarily or revoke it or terminate economic activities, they need to submit a written application to the issuer of the licence.

Revocation of the licence

The validity of the licence may be temporarily suspended:

  • On grounds provided for in Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009, Article 12(1) and (2) of Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009 and subsection 43 (1) of the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act.
  • If the carrier, its transport manager or drivers who are engaging in or who have engaged in the carriage of goods while being at the carrier’s disposal under an employment contract or a contract governed by the law of obligations have more than once incurred a penalty for a serious infringement specified in Article 6(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 upon the carriage of goods for hire or reward or own-account carriage of goods, whereby the conviction data have not been deleted from the database under the Criminal Records Database Act or it becomes evident that, upon committing the infringement in a foreign state, the time limit for the deletion of the conviction data provided for in section 24 of the Criminal Records Database Act, which is calculated from the entry into force of a decision made in the foreign state, has not expired.
  • If the carrier or its transport manager has, upon the carriage for hire or reward or own-account carriage incurred, based on section 279 of the Penal Code, a penalty for obstructing state supervision over compliance with the requirements for the working, driving, and rest time of a driver, and the conviction data of the infringement have not been deleted from the database under the Criminal Records Database Act.
  • If the carrier has infringed the requirement provided for in subsection 5 (3) of the AutoVS and, according to a precept made regarding the infringement, has failed to eliminate the deficiencies within the prescribed time limit.
  • If the carrier, its transport manager or drivers who are engaging in or who have engaged in the carriage of goods while being at the carrier’s disposal under an employment contract or a contract governed by the law of obligations have more than once incurred a penalty for an infringement of sections 2616–2619 of the Traffic Act upon the carriage of goods for hire or reward or own-account carriage of goods.

The licence may be revoked:

  • On grounds provided for in Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009, Article 12(1) and (2) of Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009 and subsection 37 (2) of the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act.
  • If the carrier has not eliminated the deficiencies pointed out in a precept made on the basis of the AutoVS or subsection 139 (4) of the Traffic Act within the prescribed time limit.
  • If the carrier, its transport manager or drivers who are engaging in or who have engaged in the carriage of goods while being at the carrier’s disposal under an employment contract or a contract governed by the law of obligations have more than once incurred a penalty for a serious infringement specified in Article 6(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No. 1071/2009 upon the carriage of goods for hire or reward or own-account carriage of goods, whereby the conviction data have not been deleted from the database under the Criminal Records Database Act or it becomes evident that, upon committing the infringement in a foreign state, the time limit for deletion of the conviction data provided for in section 24 of the Criminal Records Database Act, which is calculated from the entry into force of a decision made in the foreign state, has not expired.
  • If the carrier or its transport manager has more than once incurred upon the carriage of goods for hire or reward or own-account carriage of goods based on section 279 of the Penal Code a penalty for obstructing state supervision over compliance with the requirements for the working, driving and rest time of a driver, and the conviction data of the infringement have not been deleted from the database under the Criminal Records Database Act.
  • If the carrier, its transport manager or drivers who are engaging in or who have engaged in the carriage of goods while being at the carrier’s disposal under an employment contract or a contract governed by the law of obligations have more than once incurred a penalty for an infringement of sections 2616–2619 of the Traffic Act upon the carriage of goods for hire or reward or own-account carriage of goods.
  • If the holder of the licence has not picked up the licence within six months from the first date of validity of the licence or if it has not been possible to deliver the document to the holder.
  • If, contrary to the requirement provided for in subsection 7 (10) of the AutoVS, there is no motor vehicle at the disposal of the carrier with regard to which the carrier had to apply for and obtain a copy of the licence within six months from the start of the period of validity of the licence.

Return of the licence

Where the validity of the licence has been temporarily suspended or the licence has been revoked, the document must be returned to the issuer within 5 business days following the date of delivery of the decision to suspend or revoke the document. The return requirement does not apply where the licence has been revoked due to its loss, theft or destruction.

Supervision

Supervision over whether the holder of a Community licence corresponds to the requirements imposed on them during the validity period of the document is exercised by the ERAA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Supervision over the existence of a Community licence on the roads is exercised by the Police and Border Guard Board.

Contact details

Substantive information

Tarvi Viks, Association of Estonian International Road Carriers (ERAA), tel: +372 606 2047, e-mail:tarvi@eraa.ee

Eda Rembel, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, tel: +372 625 6427, e-mail: Eda.Rembel@mkm.ee

Registry information and technical questions

Register of Economic Activities, tel: +372 668 7080, register@mkm.ee

Last amended: 19-07-2018 10:56 | Compiled by: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications