Businesses trading between the UK and EU have been advised to ensure that they meet the necessary requirements at European border controls following Brexit, as the UK government warns that traffic is expected to increase from mid-January.
Importers/exporters have been asked to ensure they provide the right customs documentation to hauliers, such as export declarations and the extra certificates needed for perishable products, to avoid goods being held up or refused entry at the border.
Hauliers travelling to Kent must also get a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of crossing and obtain a Kent Access Permit before heading to the port, or risk facing a £300 fine and being turned away. Hauliers can get the permit, and find out the documents that traders should give them, by using the ‘Check an HGV is ready’ service on gov.uk.
The UK government has said that so far, the combination of low border traffic and good compliance has kept disruption at the border to a minimum.
Since the end of the Brexit transition period, the flow of traffic heading through Kent to the GB-EU border has been low — over the last week, there has been an average of 1584 lorries per day attempting border crossings, which is only around 40% of the normal level of traffic, explained the government.
“However, we are seeing the volume of HGV traffic steadily increase by around 20% each day. From next week, we are expecting that volumes will reach their business as usual levels for this time of year, which equates to an estimated 5000-6000 vehicles per day — this means border and trader readiness is critical.
“By the fourth week of January, we expect to see around 40,000 trucks heading to France each week, and these increased flows have the potential to cause significant disruption if traders and hauliers have not taken the necessary steps to comply with the new rules.”
“I’d like to thank hauliers, traders and our key industry partners for the hard work they have been putting in to make sure that they are compliant with the new rules,” commented Michael Gove, MP.
“The preparations they have made have paid dividends and disruption has been minimal so far, but the real challenge and potential for significant disruption starts next week when we expect that the number of lorries heading to the border may return to normal levels.
“We stand ready to help keep goods flowing smoothly as we adjust to our new relationship with the EU and ensure we take advantage of the opportunities it brings.”
For full details on what you need to do to comply with the new procedures, visit www.gov.uk/transition