ESTA is the leading European association for the abnormal road transport and mobile crane rental industry.



Permit-granting authorities often need more detailed vehicle information than available on the registration certificate. They may need additional information to check the compatibility of a vehicle with the specific requirements of the abnormal road transport. For instance when a heavy transport exceeds both maximum authorised total weight and axle loads.

Most countries have their own vehicle information documents for this purpose and most accept only these.

For internationally operating hauliers, these different national documents means  a great hindrance and quite considerable extra costs because of:

  • different application procedures;
  • physical inspection of the vehicle or vehicle combination sometimes required; 
  • different data required by the permit granting authorities; 
  • physical inspection of the vehicle or vehicle combination sometimes required; 
  • different standards of applications assessment by the permit granting authorities;
  • numerous, different documents for one and the same vehicle.

SERT (Special European Registration Trucks/Trailers) is a vehicle document especially developed to provide EU permit granting authorities with the required technical information. It was first promoted in ESTA’s “Black Book” in 1998.


SERT is one of the recommendations of the European Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) for Abnormal Road Transports, issued by the EU Commission. The document is also made suitable for the registration of modular trailers by adding an appendix. On this appendix all parts to be used for a specific configuration are listed such as goose neck, adapter, load-bed, axle unit, etc. The appendix can be supplemented when parts are added or replaced.

Of course SERT is strongly supported by ESTA as it means a substantial reduction of the administrative load of internationally operating hauliers by replacing all existing different national documents by only one.

Of all Member States up to now only the Dutch road traffic authority RDW introduced the document for trailers and it is also accepted by Belgium for permit application purposes.

Recently RDW issued the first SERT document for a modular trailer composed of parts made by different manufacturers, a so called mixed composition. In absence of full agreement between the manufacturers involved, RDW now issues the SERT document for mixed compositions under strict additional conditions.

As part of several initiatives of ESTA to promote the BPG and the SERT-document, translations in most EU languages have been prepared now and are available on the ESTA website.

Although the BPG recommends English as the uniform language for SERT the idea is that providing translations might be of use for permit application practice and other need for specific information, thus promoting the acceptance of the SERT-document.

SERT document and translations

To provide you with a model of the SERT document for a modular trailer please look at the first document below, followed by the translations

Model of a SERT Document

SERT Bulgarian|SERT Danish|SERT Italian|SERT Greek|SERT Spanish

SERT Turkish|SERT French|SERT German|SERT Polish

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