“Permits for international transport could exceed supply” says Government

Published: 25 September 2018

“Permits for international transport could exceed supply” says Government
The Department for Exiting the EU have described what a no-deal Brexit could mean for haulage firms, with a considerable impact to a route through the EU that the UK relies on for movement of fresh fruit and veg in and out of the country.

If a deal isn’t struck by March 30th and the licences drivers currently use to operate across the UK become invalid without another agreement being met, they would need contingency licences named ECMTs. These licences have limited availability, nowhere near enough to cover the amount that would be required for every international haulier coming in/out of the UK. The government stated: “We expect demand for ECMT permits will significantly exceed supply.”

Another factor to consider is that the ECMT licences offer limited access to Italy, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Russia which would once again have an impact for international hauliers planning to travel to those countries.

Adding further details, the government confirmed fears that a no-deal could mean serious delays at ports. Agri-food were told to plan alternative routes to deliver to firms and keep stock as accessible as possible following March 30th 2019.

The notice read: “In the unlikely event of no deal, UK hauliers could no longer rely on automatic recognition by the EU of UK-issued Community Licences. Hauliers may therefore no longer be able to access EU markets with their Community Licence alone. This would also end the ability of UK hauliers to perform cabotage.”

The government suggested that alternative methods of moving goods be considered by firms due to the impact that a no-deal Brexit would cause on the week of March 30th.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett spoke on the matter: “Goods are moved by road because of speed and efficiency – the UK relies on it’s incredibly efficient supply chain for consumers and businesses to get the things they need.

“This would very quickly put the manufacturing sector under severe pressure and the hauliers they rely on out of business. It’s essential that if there’s a “no deal” it is accompanied with the already agreed implementation period to give businesses a chance to avoid chaos in the supply chain.”

He concluded stating that the EU need to realise that striking a deal (on fair terms) would be the most beneficial option to both parties whether in the UK or the EU as it would keep current trade routes secure and accessible for hauliers on both sides of the market.

With just over 6 months to go until Brexit, there’s no sign of an agreement between the government and the EU in sight.

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