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HMRC and DVLA policy changes will negatively affect Ukrainian refugees

Wednesday 21 September 2022

During the period of national mourning for HM The Queen, changes in policy were communicated by the HMRC and DVLA that are likely to adversely impact a significant number of Ukrainian refugees as they work to rebuild their lives in the UK.

In emails sent by HMRC, refugees who had fled Ukraine by car and arrived with them in the UK were informed that an existing policy allowing temporary admission relief on their vehicles to continue for three years had been reversed. Car owners were advised that they would immediately need to adhere to a new process, intended to provide relief for a much shorter period of just one year. In the same week the DVLA instructed Ukrainian refugees to follow a new procedure for driving licence exchanges, stating that they would no longer recognise existing documentation that previously sufficed.

At a time when Ukrainian refugees were joining the nation in a moment of national mourning, it was unfortunate that such sudden and complex changes in policy were announced. A large number of Ukrainian refugees arrived in the UK with their cars and will experience disruption as a result.

LCCI has written to Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport) and Andrew Griffith MP (Financial Secretary to HM Treasury and City Minister) requesting that urgent consideration be given to what the DVLA and HMRC can do to mitigate the impact on the lives of refugees. The letter to Baroness Vere of Norbiton can be read here and the letter to Andrew Griffith MP can be read here.

LCCI’s Ukrainian Project Support Officer Igor Bartkiv and the chamber as a whole will continue to strongly support business to business measures that can aid Ukraine, and LCCI will continue providing opportunities for Ukrainian refugees to start and re-start their business lives in the UK. LCCI is working hard to support Ukraine, it’s people and its businesses during this traumatic time, in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Work and Pensions, and hopes this matter can be speedily resolved.

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said “We were very disappointed to hear of this sudden and complex policy announcement by HMRC and DVLA, which will cause needless and significant disruption to people who are working hard to get their lives back on track. LCCI will continue to call for measures that support refugees escaping the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including calling for needless red tape not to be imposed on hard-pressed refugees.”

ENDS

HMRC and DVLA policy changes will negatively affect Ukrainian refugees

Policy changes put in place by DVLA means that Ukranian drivers who fled to Britain by car are at risk of losing their driving license