What is the community license and what transport does it entitle to?
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The community license – what is it?
The mobility package is a series of regulations and standards that aim to consolidate international transport standards. The new requirements introduced on May 21, 2022 include a community license for the transport of goods by vans up to 3.5 tons.
The community license is a permit for the commercial transport of goods between countries. Interestingly, it is not issued to the transport company, nor to the driver, but for each vehicle. The change in the regulations was announced in 2020, through the Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union 2020/1055. However, its introduction in Poland lead to significant chaos. The waiting period for a license issued by the Chief Road Transport Inspectorate (GITD) was significantly longer due to the large number of applications. Let’s focus however on who must hold a community license.
What type of transport does the transport license entitle to?
The transport license entitles you to drive for commercial purposes delivery vehicles with a permissible total weight of between 2.5 tons and 3.5 tons. These are therefore the popular minibuses and vans, used, amongst others, by courier companies. Previously, the license was only required for heavy goods vehicles. Currently, the community license is issued for every vehicle used for the commercial transport of goods internationally. In the coming years, further regulations will enter into force that will harmonize commercial road transport using heavy goods vehicles (GVM over 3.5 tons) and delivery vehicles (GVM up to 3.5 tons). In July 2026, a new generation of digital tachographs will enter into the world of transport.
Who does not need a license?
Not all delivery vehicles require a transport license. Carriers who perform the following transport services are exempt from the requirement to hold a license:
- domestic transport of goods
- international transport of people
- international transport of goods for personal needs
As such, groups of 9 people can be transported on a commercial basis without a license.
How do I obtain a license and how much does it cost?
The main requirement to obtain a transport license is to hold a road carrier permit. You can apply for it at the Poviat Starosty and city departments. However, for new transport companies, the best solution would be to submit an application to the GITD. This can be done at the same time as the community license application. If the carrier is already operating on the market and has a permit, they can apply only for a community license, indicating the specific vehicle. The government office should issue a relevant decision within 30 days from the date the application is submitted.
License for International Transport – requirements
Having the appropriate permit is not everything. Carriers must meet a number of additional requirements, such as:
- permanent and actual (physical) company headquarters
- parking spaces for at least 1/3 of the reported vehicles
- good reputation
- financial security for each registered vehicle
- possession of a certificate of professional competence by the person managing the transport in the company
- drivers with driver certificates.
How much does the transport license cost?
The cost of the transport license depends on the period for which it is issued. The fees amount to:
- PLN 4000 for a period of up to 5 years + PLN 440 for each entry
- PLN 8000 for a period from 5 to 10 years + PLN 880 for each entry
The road carrier permit costs approximately PLN 1000. The fee is paid to the GITD’s bank account, and the company’s tax identification number should be provided in the title. It’s worth also noting that the fee for the community license applies strictly to one vehicle. In the case of a bigger vehicle fleet, the costs will correspond to the number of registered delivery vehicles.
What are the possible fines for not obtaining a license?
If, during an inspection, it becomes apparent that the carrier is performing commercial, international transport of goods without the required license, they may be fined up to PLN 12,000. The amount of the fine will depend on the scale of the violation and the country in which it was determined. It is worth noting that the lack of a license itself is treated as an NN, i.e. the most serious infringement. Moreover, providing services without a license has a real impact on the company’s good reputation.