CILT's Freight and Logistics Policy Forum met on Tuesday 6th November in London to consider the arrangements needed to facilitate freight flows in the event of an adverse Brexit negotiation. The forum also reviewed the publicly available recommendations to business on planning for such an event.
The unanimous conclusions of the discussion were that:
- The UK Government should be planning for Inland Border Inspection Points (BIPs) which are bonded and customs certified and at which goods can be inspected as appropriate and cleared for customs and health purposes
- BIPs will need to be specific to categories of goods and for large shippers may be at their warehouses
- The systems required to operate such BIPs based on pre-clearance and intelligence-based monitoring already exist and should be capable of implementation in any transition period
BIPs need to be combined with increased uptake in training and certification of Authorised Economic Operator [AEO] status by firms operating in supply chains
Combined, these measures will mitigate delays on trade between the UK and the EU27 and obviate the need for huge increases in port-based staffing. It will also accommodate the changes in ports of importation that our experts anticipate in the event of a hard or chaotic Brexit.
At present nearly 4m trucks (of which around half carry perishable and time critical cargoes) cross the Dover Straits each year’; any delays will be catastrophic for business both in the UK and the whole of the EU, especially Northern France and Belgium.