Nick Jones, the Traffic Commissioner for Wales, has refused to return an impounded vehicle to an Irish logistics firm.
The industry regulator concluded that Portway Logistics offered no tangible evidence that it had taken steps to prevent illegal use of the vehicle.
One of the company's vehicles was stopped by Government inspectors on December 2, 2016, on the A949 Ewole in Wales. Checks by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) of the driver's tachograph records revealed that the vehicle had not left the UK since November 20 and had covered 4,874kms in that time. The DVSA traffic examiner concluded the vehicle had been used in breach of cabotage regulations.
Cabotage rules allow hauliers in the EU to carry out a limited number of jobs in other member states.
In a written decision issued after an impounding hearing in Welshpool, the Traffic Commissioner concluded: "Whether or not the appellant has or will have an operator's licence in the Republic of Ireland is not relevant.
“The point that is accepted on the agreed facts is that the appellant does not have an operator's licence in Great Britain, and furthermore, it has operated in breach of cabotage rules."
Jones also noted that Portway Logistics had previously received a warning from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency regarding the cabotage rules.