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International Travel

As of 4 December 2011 the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1073/2009. The international carriage of passengers by coach and bus is conditional on the possession of a Community licence. Any road passenger transport operator possessing a valid Community licence, issued by the Member State of establishment, has free access to the whole international EU road transport market. In the Republic of Ireland these are issued by the Department of Transport, please see www.rtol.ie for further information. Carriers are required to carry a certified true copy of the Community licence aboard each of their vehicles, in order to facilitate effective controls by enforcement authorities, especially those outside the Member State in which the carrier is established. The Regulation defines the different types of coach and bus service and the specific requirements they must fulfil to access the market:

  • regular services, which require a national authorisation issued by a competent authority. Authorisations are issued by the National Transport Authority. If your service crosses a border as part of a scheduled service, you may require an International Authorisation. If you are unsure if the service that you provide requires such an International Authorisation, please contact the Authority. Please see Apply for an International Authorisation for further details on how to complete an application for an International Authorisation.
  • special regular services (e.g. the transport of workers or schoolchildren), which shall not require a national authorisation, if covered by a contract between the organiser and the transport operator. These services only require a journey form (formerly known as way bills). Journey Forms are available from the National Transport Authority. Please see What is a Journey Form and Request a Journey Form Book for further details.
  • occasional services (e.g. the transport of a group of young people to a concert in another Member State, or a one-off tourist trip), which only require a journey form. Journey Forms are available from the National Transport Authority. Please see What is a Journey Form and Request a Journey Form Book for further details.
  • own-account transport and related authorisations and rules, which are exempt of the authorisation system, but require a certificate issued by the Member State in which the vehicle is registered. In the Republic of Ireland, these certificates are issued by the Department of Transport.