Situation at ports
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
Drivers’ hours rules
The Department for Transport has introduced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales. The relaxation of the rules applies from 00.01 Wednesday 23 December 2020 until 23:59 on Friday 22 January 2021. The rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows:
Guidance has been updated to include further detail about Operation Brock, the Kent traffic management on M20 motorway to Dover and Eurotunnel designed to keep Kent’s roads open in the event of disruption at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.
Heat treated pallets
At the end of the transition period, all Wooden Packaging Material moving from the UK to the EU and from the EU to UK must meet ISPM15 international standards by undergoing heat treatment and marking. As there will be no immediate change to the biosecurity threat of wood packaging material originating from the EU at the end of the Transition Period, GB will maintain its current risk-based checking regime for EU wood packaging material. The UK Timber Pallet and Packaging Confederation (TIMCON) is strongly encouraging the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers and EU national associations to engage and support their countries’ wood packaging material industries to increase their own stocks of compliant pallets.
Haulier Information and Advice sites
45 Haulier Information and Advice Sites are now open across the UK for advice on how to prepare for the end of the transition period. Support includes multi-lingual in-person advice on new border changes, the Hauliers Handbook and training on the ‘Check an HGV’ service.