What is a Community licence?

Transport law


Carrying out economic activity related to transport is connected with the necessity to obtain relevant administrative decisions. One of them is the Community licence – what does it entitle to and how can you obtain it?

Administrative decision

Let’s start from the fact that administrative decisions are a specific form of authorisations to carry out certain legal activities, which must meet relevant conditions. Of course, administrative decisions may also be refused, which means that the applicant may then not take the appropriate action, or may appeal against such a decision.

Administrative decisions are issued on the basis of the provisions of the Code of Administrative Procedure and other special laws, which regulate specific legal and economic issues. An entrepreneur who decides to carry out a specific activity must sometimes obtain a relevant decision, license, concession or permit, in order to fully legally undertake specific activities. This is the case, for example, with the sale of alcohol and tobacco products. It turns out that transport activity may also require a relevant permit.

Community licence

The Community licence, as the name itself suggests, is a document entitling to conduct transport activity within the territory of the European Union, also often referred to as the Community. Any entrepreneur wishing to carry out international road haulage for hire or reward must hold this document and an extract from the Community licence for each vehicle.

The said licence is in fact an administrative decision issued by the Chief Inspector of Road Transport (GITD) or a self-governing body specified in the act. It entitles to take up and pursue economic activity in the field of road transport of passengers and goods in international road transport. It is granted to the entrepreneur on condition that he possesses a permit to pursue the occupation of a road transport operator. The Community licence is issued by a Member State to a haulier established in that State or authorised in a Member State to engage in the international carriage of goods by road. It is issued for a maximum period of 10 years, although it may be renewed. The haulier receives as many licence extracts as the number of vehicles at his disposal. Remember, however, that all certified copies must be kept in the entrepreneur’s vehicles. The original of the Community licence should be kept by the haulier at his place of business.

How to obtain a Community licence?

The Community licence requires the initiation of an appropriate administrative procedure – such a document is not issued ex officio. In order to obtain the Community licence, it is necessary to obtain a permit to pursue the occupation of a road transport operator. You can apply for such a document to the starost (or city president) competent for your place of residence (or place of business), or to the General Inspector of Road Transport. If you already have the permit to pursue the occupation of a road transport operator, you have to apply for a Community licence from the GITD.

It should be remembered, however, that the permit is not necessary for entrepreneurs who carry out the occupation of road haulage operator solely by means of motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles the permissible total weight of which does not exceed 3.5 tons.

A specimen application form is available on the GITD website – it should indicate the period for which the licence is to be issued, the number of excerpts requested and the number of vehicles to be registered. In case of finding formal defects in the documents, the Chief Road Transport Inspector calls for their supplementation by letter. The deadline for completing the formal defects is at least 7 days from the day of receiving the relevant call.

We should remember to attach to the application:

  • a permit to pursue the occupation of road transport operator or a license for domestic road transport of goods;
  • a certificate issued by the authority that issued the permit to pursue the occupation of road transport operator about the number of vehicles for which the requirement of financial capacity was documented;
  • information from the National Criminal Register – in the case the authorisation to pursue the occupation of road transport operator was granted by the GITD.

In order to obtain a Community licence, it is necessary to pay a stamp duty – the amount depends on the period for which the document is issued and is as follows

  • up to 5 years – PLN 4000 + PLN 440 for each extract from the licence,
  • above 5 years up to 10 years – PLN 8000 + PLN 880 for each licence extract.

In the case of an application for the permit to pursue the occupation of road transport operator, an additional fee of PLN 1,000 must be paid.

The fees should be paid to the bank account number which can be found on the website of the Main Inspectorate of Road Transport. The transfer title should include the applicant’s NIP number. If the applicant is represented by an attorney, the power of attorney must be attached to the application, together with proof of payment of stamp duty in the amount of PLN 17. The stamp duty for the power of attorney, however, must be paid to a different account than the one used for issuing the extract from the licence – as a rule, it is the competent city or municipality office.

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