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Transport, Traffic and Freight in Denmark

In this section you’ll find articles that pertain to transportation within the EU. Notice that you when touring in e.g. Norway will be travelling outside of the EU. In which case you need an ATA Carnét. This section also offers information about ATA Carnét. 


Shipping of equipment should be planned as long in advance as at all possible, as you often have to include quite a bit of travelling time depending on the destination. Team up with a shipping agency where they’ll take care of all the paper work. Remember to include expenses for containers in the budget. Hiring a 40 foot container usually costs 50% more than hiring a 20 foot one, and so you should think carefully about how you load it. In some countries, Australia and South American for example, they demand that your set is sprayed against insects and other vermin. Make sure you check regulations in the host country before departure. When travelling outside Europe, you need to fill in an ATA Carnét

ATA Carnét

By Pia Lind, consultant at The Danish Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

When travelling outside Europe, taking a performance and props to Norway for example, you cannot cross the border without some sort of customs-house documentation. The easiest way to bring in equipment is to have an ATA Carnét issued before setting off. An ATA Carnét is a document that enables you to bring equipment across borders without having to pay tax and excise duty. If you do not have an ATA Carnét, you have to pay duty on equipment, and this can prove quite an expense, which will only be returned to you when you are back in Denmark, and delays of several months has been known to occur. If you have an ATA Carnét, you do not need any other customs-house documentation.

You can acquire an ATA Carnét at a fraction of what paying duty would set you back and furthermore, the Carnét is valid for a whole year, in which you can transport the equipment listed on there anywhere you need to go.

Why is it necessary to have an ATA Carnét and what regulations must you adhere to?

The ATA Carnét documents what goods/equipment you bring into the country and hence also what to bring back out when leaving the country you’re visiting. This is a way of controlling the equipment brought into a given country, which is why it is imperative that the ATA Carnét is handled correctly. This entails that each time you cross a border, you need the ATA Carnét stamped, enabling you to document at any time that the equipment has been brought back into Denmark.

Not having an ATA Carnét can prove an expensive experience, because you risk being detained in customs and having to pay VAT, duty and a fine.

What is covered by an ATA Carnét?

Practically all good that are not for consumption: computers, sound and lighting equipment, cameras, vehicles, jewellery, clothes, sports equipment, musical instruments, circus equipment, horses etc.

An ATA Carnét does not cover: entrepreneurial equipment, tools and other equipment for constructing or maintaining buildings, agricultural machinery to use abroad, including ploughs and harvesters.

Which formulas need to be filled in, in order to secure an ATA Carnét

Getting an ATA Carnét is easy, and the only form you have to fill in, is an application, which include a list of equipment/goods and a front page. The ATA Carnéts are issued by the main trade organizations.

You can either pick up your ATA Carnét or have it sent to you via mail. It also includes guidelines for how to use it when travelling.

Travel And Rest Hour Regulations

There are a number of legislative regulations for driving heavy vehicles that you should be aware of. Danish legislation in this area is subject to relevant EU directives and thus applicable in all EU countries as well as in Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. In other words, when driving through Sweden, you can observe Danish travel and rest hour regulations. However, it is always recommendable that you check local legislation when travelling and working abroad. The general regulations for travel and rest hours are as follows:

  • The driver must not drive for more than 4,5 hours at a stretch.
  • After driving for 4,5 hours the driver must take a break of at least 45 consecutive minutes, unless s/he starts a rest period.
  • The break of 45 minutes can be exchanged for a break of no less than 15 minutes, followed by smaller breaks throughout the trip, making up the remaining 30 minutes. You cannot change the order of the breaks around.
  • During the breaks and hours of rest, the driver is not allowed to perform any other kind of duty or work.
  • The driver must not drive for more than nine hours a day.
  • Twice a week, driving time can be extended to ten hours.
  • Weekly driving must not exceed 56 hours.
  • In two consecutive weeks the total of driving hours must not exceed 90 hours.
  • A week constitutes Monday from 00:01 AM until Sunday 00:00 midnight.

Rest hours are defined as any continuous period when the driver is free to dispose of her/his own time.

  • Within every 24 hours the driver must rest for a minimum of eleven consecutive hours.
  • However, the daily hours of rest can be reduced to a minimum of nine consecutive hours three times a week – at most.
  • Daily hours of rest (both regular and reduced) that are observed outside of the driver’s home can be spent in the vehicle, as long as a bed is provided and as long as the vehicle is not moving.
  • Regular weekly rest hours should be no less than 45 hours.
  • Within two consecutive weeks a driver must at least observe two regular periods of rest consisting of no less than 45 hours each and 90 hours in all, or one regular weekly period of rest consisting of no less than 45 hours and one reduced weekly period of rest consisting of no less than 24 hours. Compensation for the missing period(s) of rest must be made up at a later date, please see below.
  • A weekly period of rest must start no later than at the end of six consecutive 24-hour periods after the previous week’s period of rest
  • A reduced weekly period of rest, observed outside the driver’s home, must be observed in the vehicle, as long as a bed is provided and as long as the vehicle is not moving.

Furthermore, there should be a control apparatus in the vehicle. Read more about the regulations here.


Link to notice on travel and rest hour regulations.

You find the EU regulations under (EF) 561/2006 and 3821/85.

Accompanying Transportation Assistants

Assistants are subject to the same EU rules and regulations regarding travel and rest hour regulations as drives, in which it is also stipulated that the minimum age of an assistant is 18, which can be lowered to 16, if the transportation takes place within the home country and within a radius of 50 km from the vehicle’s permanent base, including the municipalities whose city centres are within this radius. This is out of respect for the professional education and to observe the rules as defined in the national labour regulations.

Parking Regulations

Finding you way around the jungle of parking regulations can be quit a challenge. In the major Danish cities, as a rule, you would have to pay for parking within the entire city centre. You can find more information on local parking regulations here, however, you should also be aware of particular sign postings and rules regarding parking on private roads as well as the general regulations as stipulated in the Road Traffic Act.

In airports you also have to observe specific regulations.

Source: FDM

Rental Vehicles

Driving A Danish Rental Car Abroad

Different car rentals have different rules and regulations, but there are a few things to keep in the back of your mind if you plan to travel from Denmark to another country in a rented car.

As a general rule, rentals that depart from Denmark to go abroad are subject to the same regulations and conditions (including insurance) as if you were driving the car in Denmark. Of course, you have to be aware of national highway codes, but then again that is irrespective of whether the car is a rental or not.

Due to conditions of insurance there are general restrictions on driving a Danish rental car in: the UK, Moldova, Bella Rousse, Cyprus, Island, Malta, Albania, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, Russia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro and Corsica.

Most rental companies will precondition that the customer informs the company of which country the car will be going to in advance. Some companies also have additional rules when driving abroad, which can be determined by the country you’re going to or the make of car etc. Make sure you enquire about specific rules at the company of your choice.

If you rent a car when abroad, rather than driving from Denmark, the price will often be more favourable and you’ll have free mileage on passenger cars. There are no common EU regulations with regards to car rentals; it’s always the country in question’s national regulations that are conditional for car rentals.

Special Rules In Sweden

When driving in Sweden, it’s compulsory to use winter tires between December 1st and March 31st and the tires’ grooves must be no less than three millimetres deep. Using winter tires in Norway and Germany is also compulsory.
You are allowed but not obliged to use spiked tires in Sweden (and Norway) from Oct. 1st to April 15th, and if you so chose, you must ensure that all four tires as well as the tires on a potential trailer are all spiked.

Source: Europcar

Driving A Swedish Rental Car in Denmark (for Danes)

As a general rule, you are not allowed to drive a vehicle registered abroad if you are a Danish citizen with permanent address in Denmark. Exceptions can be made though, in cases where you only pass through Denmark on route to Germany. Rental cars are often a lot cheaper in Sweden than in Denmark and you rarely have to pay mileage on Swedish rentals and so it may be advantageous to obtain a so-called Transit Permit from the Danish Inland Revenue (SKAT) so you can rent a car in Sweden, if you are touring outside Denmark. You have to apply for a Transit Permit both when going and returning, and the processing time can be quite long. Furthermore, you have to observe the following rules:

  • You can only use the vehicle for direct transportation from the stated place of entry and departure in Denmark
  • You have to cover the distance within 24 hours
  • The vehicle must be properly registered in country of origin and covered by a liability insurance valid in Denmark
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