HMRC has announced Ashford’s customs processing site, Sevington Inland facility, is now fully operational and able to carry out customs checks on items crossing the border.
The site will be able to handle the movement of more highly regulated goods, such as live animals, as well as strategic exports and sanctioned goods.
This site, along with one in Holyhead, will reduce HMRC’s dependence on commercial operators Dover Western Docks and Stop 24. These have handled customs checks since the UK left the EU in 2020.
HMRC are encouraging exporters to switch over to use of the Sevington and Holyhead sites.
DWD and Stop 24 can still be used for customs check but this will not incur a fee in line with their standard commercial rates.
The Sevington site is specifically equipped to check horses, cats and dogs for breeding under a carnet/CITES permit.
Hazardous goods handling
DWD and Stop 24 will continue to carry out checks on dangerous or hazardous goods, such as radioactive, toxic and corrosive substances.
Checks on these items are prohibited at Sevington or Holyhead, so must continue to pass through DWD and Stop 24, where they continue to be provided for free.
Gov.uk have offered guidance on which goods must continue being checked by the commercial operators, along with notable exceptions.
These include explosives, polymerising substances, category I and II nuclear material, insecticides and any special vehicles subject to a Special Types General Order (STGO).