Campaigning efforts pay off as ‘Splitter Vans’ get green light Jump to main content

Campaigning efforts pay off as ‘Splitter Vans’ get green light

The ISM is delighted that the Government has confirmed ‘splitter vans’ fall outside the scope of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), and are only subject to Member State Law, as was the case before the UK left the EU.

Following strong lobbying efforts from the ISM and others across the sector, the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport confirmed that artists and touring musicians will be able to continue using splitter vans to tour with greater ease than had been previously feared. Splitter vans are not under the TCA's cabotage rules, meaning they are now able to make more than 3 stops before needing to return to the UK.

Splitter vans are a low-cost and accessible way for small and medium scale and emerging artists to tour. They allow both people and instruments/equipment to be transported in the same van and are an essential vehicle for many touring artists, which is why their future use being in jeopardy had caused so much concern.

In July 2021, the ISM and 15 music and creative organisations submitted a joint response to a Government ‘call for evidence’ on the future use of the vans. Now, our asks have been listened to, as this week’s announcement means that splitter vans are not subject to expensive red tape such as cabotage and cross trade rules.

There are still concerns for musicians touring in the EU, including visa and work permits, Carnet requirements, and merchandise restrictions, and the ISM will continue to make the case that these restrictions are eased to help the sector worth £5.8 billion per year, continue to tour.

ISM's CEO Deborah Annetts, said:

'Splitter vans are essential equipment for many artists, including small and medium scale musicians. We called on the government to ensure splitter vans could continue to be used in the EU and today’s announcement will be very welcome news for many musicians.

It’s great that on this occasion the industries’ campaigning work has paid off, but there is much more the Government should be doing. In order for our musicians to tour freely in the EU we need the UK and the EU to negotiate a visa waiver agreement to remove expensive and complex red tape.'