If you have any questions concerning general developments in the course of the withdrawal negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, please refer to the Federal Foreign Office's website on Brexit at the following link:
Frequently asked questions
Will UK airlines still be able to fly to Germany? And vice versa? And what about other routes?
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the United Kingdom would immediately leave the European Common Aviation Area on the date of withdrawal. To prevent the suspension of air services that this would involve, various contingency measures have been prepared.
Under an EU Regulation of 25 March 2019, UK air carriers will be granted traffic rights for flights from the United Kingdom to the EU and vice versa until 30 March 2020. The prerequisite for this is that the United Kingdom must reciprocally grant EU air carriers the same rights and comply with provisions ensuring fair competition. Otherwise, these rights may be subsequently withdrawn. A communication from the United Kingdom of 7 March 2019 confirms that the United Kingdom intends to grant EU air carriers such rights. This means that it will generally be possible to preserve third and fourth freedom traffic between Germany and the United Kingdom.
The EU Regulation is designed to ensure that basic air services are maintained and not to ensure that the status quo is maintained. The Regulation makes no provision for more liberal traffic rights for UK air carriers, for instance for routes from Germany to third countries or within the EU. There are temporary derogations for cargo-only flights or certain routes that are operated to comply with public service obligations. In its communication of 7 March, the United Kingdom detailed which traffic rights it intends to grant EU air carriers in return. Given the complexity, it is not possible to provide general information, especially since carriers may already have made arrangements. For questions regarding specific flights, we recommend that flight passengers contact the airlines directly.
Technical information for air carriers on permits for schedules air services, entry permissions and flight schedule approvals in the event of a no-deal Brexit have been provided on the Federal Aviation Office's website.
What other EU contingency measures are there in the field of aviation?
Another measure is Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/413 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/413 of 14 March 2019 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1998 as regards third countries recognised as applying security standards equivalent to the common basic standards on civil aviation security. This avoids the need for a second screening of cabin baggage and cargo for reasons of aviation security, for instance by introducing comprehensive one-stop security (OSS).
The EU Regulation of 25 March 2019 extends the validity within the EU of various technical certificates for aircraft and aviation products and certificates of release for technical personnel issued by the UK Civil Aviation Authority before the time of withdrawal. This rule will initially apply for nine months from the time of withdrawal. The United Kingdom has announced that it will act in a reciprocal manner. However, persons holding a Part 66 licence that was issued by the UK authority are not covered by this rule. These persons should contact the Technology Division at Federal Aviation Office with regard to conversion.
Will rail services between the UK and the EU continue without disruption after a nodeal Brexit?
Brexit will affect the high-speed trains, freight trains and shuttle trains for passenger cars and goods vehicles through the Channel Tunnel and rail services between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Given that checks already take place on rail services through the Channel Tunnel, we believe that it is unlikely that there will be any other traffic-related impacts for travellers.
In the rail freight sector, customs clearance is likely to be introduced as a result of the newly created external EU borders. For customs-related questions, you can find more detailed information by clicking on the link below to the customs authorities.
To ensure that rail services continue to operate without disruption, European legislators adopted a regulation at the end of March providing for the continuing validity of safety certificates and safety authorizations for railway undertakings and rolling stock as well as licences of train drivers in cross-border rail transport between the United Kingdom and the EU to the border-crossing stations and terminals in the EU if they have been issued by UK authorities. This means that the parties affected will be able to continue operating the services until the corresponding processes of re-issuing these documents in an EU Member State have been completed.
Will shipping between the EU Member States and the United Kingdom be affected by Brexit?
No major impact on shipping is likely as a result of Brexit, including a no-deal withdrawal, irrespective of the flag being flown by the ship. This also applies to passenger shipping (ferry services, cruises). However, delays caused by immigration and customs formalities cannot be ruled out.
Will goods vehicles from the European Union still be able to carry goods to the United Kingdom in the event of a no-deal withdrawal?
At the end of March, an EU contingency regulation, valid until 31 December 2019, on common rules ensuring basic road freight and road passenger connectivity with regard to the no-deal withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the Union was adopted. Under this regulation, UK road haulage operators are granted access to the market of the EU-27. It will enter into force as of the point in time at which the United Kingdom has effectively left the European Union (currently 24.00 hrs CET on 31 October 2019) without a withdrawal agreement having been signed. A prerequisite for this is that the United Kingdom must reciprocally grant operators from the European Union at least the same rights. A corresponding UK legal act was adopted at the end of March 2019.
In practice, this means: as far as transport operations between the United Kingdom and the European Union are concerned, the situation for operators from the EU Member States regarding access to the UK road haulage market will remain unchanged until 31 December 2019. The UK enforcement agencies will recognize the EU Community licence as a market access authorization. Whereas the EU contingency regulation makes it possible for UK operators to engage in cabotage operations on the territory of the European Union only to a limited extent, the UK transitional solutions for EU operators provide for retention of the current cabotage rules set out in Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009.
Within the period of validity of the regulation (i.e. until 31 December 2019), no ECMT licences will be required for transport operations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
What will happen to UK type approvals for motor vehicles? Will EU type approvals still be recognized in the United Kingdom after withdrawal?
Starting on the date of withdrawal, the UK type approval authority will no longer be an EU type approval authority within the meaning of the relevant directive. For this reason, motor vehicles that are to be placed on the market after the date of withdrawal will require a type approval issued by an EU authority. In early January, Regulation (EU) 2019/26 "complementing Union type-approval legislation with regard to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union" entered into force. Under this regulation, manufacturers holding a type approval issued by the United Kingdom can submit an application to an EU-27 type approval authority for an EU type approval.
If you have any further questions on motor vehicle type approval, please contact the Federal Motor Transport Authority.
Will it be necessary to make any adjustments to my driving licence?
If they only use the roads temporarily, holders of a UK driving licence may do so in Germany with their driving entitlement issued in the UK (under a Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968) if they possess a credit-card style driving licence. Otherwise, they will require an International Driving Permit in accordance with the aforementioned convention.
If they take up residence in Germany, their UK driving licence will have to be converted into an EU/EEA driving licence after a maximum of six months. Under driver licensing law, a person is deemed to have taken up residence in Germany if they live here for at least 185 days a year. The question as to when this period commences in any given case, especially in the case of Brexit, should be settled with the local driver licensing authority.
However, there is no reason why they should not convert their UK driving licence into a German licence before the date of withdrawal. This would be possible without them having to take theory and practical driving tests.
Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, it will no longer be possible to convert driving licences without having to take a driving test unless – as is the case with other third states – an agreement on reciprocity has been reached with the United Kingdom.
What vehicle papers will have to be carried on-board a vehicle using the roads temporarily?
Drivers of vehicles registered in Germany will – as in the past – have to carry the registration certificate (part I) when using UK roads. In addition, as of the day of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, they will have to carry a Green International Insurance Card to prove that they have insurance cover.
Drivers of vehicles registered in the United Kingdom will have to carry an official registration certificate with certain minimum information or an International Certificate for Motor Vehicles when using German roads. In addition, as of the day of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, they should carry a Green International Insurance Card to prove that they have insurance cover.
However, the use of the road must be only temporary, in accordance with the Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968. In all other cases, for instance if residence is taken up, the provisions of the country in question regarding the mandatory registration in that county have to be complied with.
We would like to refer to the following information:
On its website, the European Commission has compiled Brexit preparedness notices for businesses and citizens, setting out the consequences in a range of policy areas:
Further information on the preparations for Brexit can be found on the Federal Foreign Office's website, which is the lead government department for Brexit and, in this context, also coordinates the Federal Government’s preparatory activities.
A list of frequently asked questions can be found on the Federal Government's website.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) provides comprehensive information for companies on its website. It has also set up a Brexit information hotline, which citizens and companies can contact with their questions and concerns.
Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), an agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, regularly provides information on topical issues and backgrounds on the Brexit negotiations.
The German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, provides information on the consequences of Brexit for German companies.
On their website, the German customs authorities provide information regarding customs regulations and excise taxes in connection with Brexit.
Numerous trade associations are also provi0ding information and advice on Brexit issues. The Federation of German Industry, for example, has published a compendium including comprehensive guidelines and information on practical issues for companies to prepare for Brexit.
With its "Brexit Checklist", the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce is taking a similar approach.