Independent journal on economy and transport policy
CENTRO INTERNAZIONALE STUDI CONTAINERS
ANNO XXXVIII - Numero SETTEMBRE 2020
UK PORTS RESPOND TO BREXIT WORST-CASE SCENARIO
"The British Ports Association (BPA) has suggested that
a major government and cross-industry effort is needed to ensure
hauliers and traders are prepared for Brexit."
This is in response to the letter sent to trade bodies by the
chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove which highlights
potential issues for freight traffic after the Brexit transition
The letter warns of 7,000-truck queues and delays of up to two
days in Kent as hauliers head to the Port of Dover to cross the
English Channel to mainland Europe.
In a statement released by the BPA it was noted that the ports
industry is reporting that significant amounts of preparation is
underway across the sector but that while there is obviously a lot
going on elsewhere, wider trader preparedness is largely unknown.
The association is closely engaged with discussions between
government and the industry.
British Ports Association Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne
commented, "The government's worst-case scenarios are a stark
reminder about the major changes that much of the UK's freight
industry will have to embrace following the end of the transition
"Whilst highlighting particular issues in Kent the analysis
also underlines that this will be a national issue for traders and
hauliers moving goods through a wider number of gateways facing the
same issues. Put simply if the traders have not completed the
correct customs requirements, they will be unable to transport their
goods through any port.
"In recent months there has been a flurry of government
activity. Ports are working to ensure infrastructure is ready but is
still a lot to do. In particular decisions policy makers need to
agree in respect of specifications for infrastructure.
"However, in terms of the wider freight operations there is
perhaps even more to do. We will now be looking at ways to support
the government's drive to communicate the new requirements to the
wider freight and logistics industry to avoid many of the scenarios
given in the analysis from arising."
Also commenting on the letter sent by Gove, Tim Morris, CEO of
the UK Major Ports Group, said "The Government is right to
launch a plea for UK businesses to prepare for new border
arrangements from the 1 January. Regardless of whether a deal with
the EU is reached or not, arrangements for handling goods moving to
and from the European Union and the UK will change. The
implementation of new border controls will mean new requirements,
processes and checks. Gove's letter clearly sets out the potential
for significant disruption, particularly in Kent.
"The UK has a range of ports all around the coast with
additional capacity to handle EU-UK trade flows, many of whom are
highly experienced in enabling global trade and border processes. It
is vital that UK businesses understand their supply chain options
and prepare really urgently for likely disruption in some areas and
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