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News & Press: International Trade News

Government Makes Plans for Continued 'RoRo' Trade in 'D1 ND Brexit'

01 October 2019  
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
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no deal brexit

The Government’s Border Delivery Group has set out its 'Day 1 No Deal Brexit' requirements for departments to ensure the continuation of the Roll-on Roll-off (‘RoRo’) environment that facilitates UK-EU cross border trade. The Government has said that it is prioritising the security and flow of goods over borders in the event of a no deal and is also working towards its longer-term objectives of balancing compliance with flow.

‘Roro’ is defined by shipping specialists Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions as meaning “simply that cargo rolls on or off the vessel, as opposed to being lifted using cranes. For self-propelled cargo, such as cars, they roll on and off the vessel on their own wheels. For cargo that is not self-propelled, the cargo is placed on handling equipment with wheels on the terminal to roll the cargo on and off the vessel. The cargo then remains on the handling equipment for the entire sea voyage.”

According to the government paper, “the default position for RoRo is that all accompanied freight is free to board and disembark the ferries or the Le Shuttle trains as they do now, and only stop if they are required to by Border Force.”

RoRo is fundamental to the quick and smooth movement of goods at UK ports. The UK government is looking to put in place a number of easements at the border to ensure RoRo continues in the period following EU exit.

While these easements are in place, the government will work with businesses to ensure they can meet new compliance requirements in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’. The government is also looking to do as many checks as they can away from the border to reduce the potential of significant motorway pileups around the ports. In time, the government is looking at technological solutions, but admits that these will not be in place for the 31st October deadline.

This detailed document sets out the key operational requirements of HMG Departments’ for the RoRo mode of transport, including:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – customs, excise and VAT
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) / Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) / Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  • Home Office (HO) / Border Force (BF)
  • Department for Transport (DfT) – licences, permits, insurance and cabotage
  • Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – product standards and conformity

You can read the full report here.