Government to build up to 10 inland customs sites to cope with post-transition congestion

Fri 9 Oct 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

lorry park

The government has published further details of how the UK’s borders with the EU will operate from 1 January 2021, the Guardian reports

Plans include building up to 10 new inland sites to conduct customs checks away from the border to avoid traffic jams resulting from new administrative requirements for hauliers carrying goods to the EU.  

The sites – which include Warrington and Epping in Essex – could be in place for two years, according to a council that has already started the planning process for a site. 

Sites confirmed

As part of a £705 million government investment fund, new infrastructure will be put in place at Ebbsfleet International Station in Kent, North Weald Airfield in Essex and Warrington in the north-west.  

A 27-acre lorry park in Ashford – which can accommodate 2,000 vehicles – was also announced recently.  

Two further sites – Thames Gateway and Birmingham – could handle Transit procedures, including “passport for goods” checks.  

Additional potential sites could be in place by July next year in Holyhead, Fishguard or Pembroke and Dover. 

Kent permit required 

The details flesh out how the Border Operating Model (BOM) for goods moving between the UK and EU will operate.  

As well as outlining the 10 sites for border check facilities the update confirms that hauliers will need to get a ‘Kent Access Permit’ to enter into the county before travelling to major transport termini in Dover or Folkestone.  

Further information on how what the update means for traders can be found here

Clear message 

Industry bodies, which have been engaging with the government on the BOM, have welcomed the increased clarity.  

Road Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive Richard Burnett said it is vital that hauliers and traders do everything they can now to prepare for the new trading relationship, reports Motor Transport

“Firms moving goods across borders will have to undertake customs processes whether there’s a deal or no deal,” he said. “The message is clear – if the paperwork’s not right, the goods won’t cross.” 

Logistics UK said that with less than 90 days to go, the further detail was important to maintain a smooth flow of goods to and from the EU.  

Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK’s policy director, added: “We now want to see the same clarity and detailed information for the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so that businesses can plan and logistics operators avoid delays.”