RHA respond to Port of Calais Chief’s statement

Published: 14 January 2019

RHA respond to Port of Calais Chief’s statement
The RHA have criticised the Port of Calais Chief following his statement last week that Brexit will not have an effect on the port or the movement of goods across the channel, he claimed that additional vehicle checks would not be performed as many have stated during predictions for Brexit.

The Port chief made the statement during a BBC Radio 4 interview when discussing the movement of food and livestock across the channel following Brexit addressing the speculation of delays that would be caused by the UK’s departure from the EU.

Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the RHA stated this doesn’t match what they were told by authorities at the port of Calais when they contacted them last week regarding his statement.

“It was made clear that if drivers arrive without pre-customs declarations or a permit (if it’s a British driver) or transit document (if delivering to a different country), they will be rejected,” he stated.

“To complete that could take up to five minutes – still a significant delay, and if not fully completed, the carrier will reject the vehicle – it will have to turn away or park up to complete declaration.”

During an interview a representative of the FTA gave their opinion on the matter, mentioning paperwork UK drivers would need to fill before entering the port at either side.

“What we can say on the comments made in the Today programme is that it is good to see some flexibility being shown,” the representative said. “But more than anything else, it underlines how imperative it is that drivers complete all paperwork before arriving at ports if the UK is to avoid major congestion in the wake of Brexit.”

The UK could return to WTO regulations if a no-deal Brexit takes place, meaning much more paperwork would be in place for lorry drivers on both sides of the channel. However, this morning the PM went on record claiming that no Brexit is more likely than a no deal.

Tomorrow the PM’s proposed deal is taken to Parliament, which if not accepted she claims will lead to a no-Brexit situation which will cause “catastrophic harm” on a nationwide scale. For an industry that has spent months with no idea what the situation could be with Brexit, it seems as though the haulage industry might finally get an answer.
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