Brexit: Can UK Be Ready For End Of Transition?

FOLLOWING receipt of a letter from Michael Gove MP, detailing ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ planning, the RHA remains sceptical about the government’s readiness for the end of the Brexit transition period.
It says that between 30-50% of trucks crossing the Channel won’t be ready for the new regulations coming into force on 1 January 2021, while a ‘lack of capacity to hold unready trucks at French ports’ could reduce the flow of traffic across the Dover Strait to 60-80%.
‘We already know this,’ said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett. ‘We know that traders and haulage operators will face new customs controls and processes and if they haven’t completed the right paperwork their goods will be stopped when entering the EU.
‘Mr Gove stresses that its essential traders act now to get ready for the new formalities. We know that they are only too keen to be ready, but how on earth can they prepare when there is still no clarity as to what they need to do? Traders need 50,000 more customs intermediaries to handle the mountain of new paperwork after transition, but government support to recruit and train those extra people is inadequate, particularly as firms are trying to recover from COVID-19.
‘The answers to the questions that we raised in our letter to Mr Gove and subsequent roundtable meeting still remain unanswered; and for the industry on which the entire nation depends for maintaining the flow of goods across borders, the future looks very bleak indeed.’
Logistics UK said it is also incumbent on government to ensure logistics businesses have details of and access to the UK’s own logistics systems, including Smart Freight and GVMS, in good time so that adequate training and testing can be carried out. It added: ‘Full working guidance on the port systems to be used in Europe, particularly in France and Ireland, must also be provided by EU partners to minimise delays and potential disruption to the supply chain.’

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