The government will postpone checks on imports from the European Union in order to give businesses more time to prepare for the myriad paperwork that awaits. The first checks will begin in October, seven months after they were originally planned to be introduced, and then be phased in over time until March 2022, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove has announced.
UK/France freight traffic volumes are reported to be up to 70-75% of what they would normally be year on year. It is believed that there is a higher percentage of empty lorries travelling than usual,. The amount of vehicles being turned away on the UK side is less than 5%, and turnaways are largely the result of not having a valid negative Covid test.
The French, Dutch and Irish authorities continue to report very high levels of “non-compliance” with SPS requirements. However there are questions over what the interpretation of non-compliance is, and the UK Government is engaged in bilateral conversation about what is an is not considered compliant.
Generally traders and hauliers that have been moving goods throughout are now clear on the key things they must have in place. These include a COMMI (customs/goods representative) in the Port of Calais, plus an accurate consistent TRACES NT entry being made on the import side and ensuring it is consistent with the customs documents and the veterinary certificates.
The rules on Covid-testing for hauliers remain in place – proof of a negative lateral flow test is required within 72hrs for travel to France and withing 24hrs to Holland and Denmark. All hauliers can obtain free tests at a range of Brexit Information and Advice Sites across the UK. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/haulier-advice-site-locations
Expedited Return Scheme
The Expedited Return Scheme allows empty supermarket vehicles travelling from the UK to the EU to be prioritised through the Kent Traffic Management System. Under the scheme supermarket lorries returning to Europe will be prioritised at the border to avoid any food shortages. These measures are only intended to be used in an emergency if congestion to Dover exceeds eight hours and deliveries to UK supermarkets fall below 75% of expectations for two consecutive days. Permits are allocated in proportion to retailers’ current market share of the UK food sector up to 300 per day. FWD, along with all other sectors excluded from the scheme, responded to the a 48-hr consultation to strongly argue that the scheme should not be restricted to supermarkets.
Transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU
Guidance has been published for hauliers and commercial drivers who move goods between Great Britain and the European Union from 1 January 2021, including documents required, new rules to manage traffic heading to ports and new border control processes
Defra outlined its planning assumptions for disruption at the border from January 1, known as the Reasonable Worse Case Scenario. This has not changed from September and Defra advice is that industry should plan for this scenario.