Logistics UK’S statement on Operation Brock consultation response

In answer to the release of the government’s Operation Brock consultation response, Heidi Skinner, Logistics UK’s Policy Manager for the South East, said:

“The Operation Brock consultation response, announced [22 October 2020], provides some reassurance for logistics businesses that contingency plans will be in place to enable them to deal with any disruption to the supply chain from 1 January 2021 onwards.  However, the plans still miss much of the detail operators need to plan effectively.  Logistics UK has been urging its members, as well as exporters and importers using logistics services, to make all possible preparations for the new trading environment which they will encounter, but there is still much to complete.  Systems must be finished and thoroughly tested before the end of the transition period, and the guidance provided by government must be practical and effective to ensure there is no confusion or misinterpretation.

“The Hauliers Handbook presented by government as a solution for those crossing borders still needs much work, and must be tested by users to ensure it is fit for purpose.  As we approach the busy Christmas trading period, it is imperative that sufficient time is made available to ensure that this can be done without impacting vital work which logistics operators must complete.  With so much complexity and new processes created or amended in the last few weeks, drivers and hauliers need a user-friendly, go-to document to support them in their preparations and daily activities from 1 January.

“Of particular concern to our members is the reference to the applications for ECMT permits.  In a call with government [Wednesday 21 October], stakeholders were told these permits should not be needed: if they are now considered vital for continuing to trade with the EU, logistics businesses need assurances that sufficient will be available (current allocation to the UK falls short by a factor of four) to prevent hauliers being forced out of business.  In addition, more clarification is needed on exactly how and where permit applications can be made and what the selection process will entail.”

Read the full article on UK Haulier published 23 October 2020

Britain steps up haulage preparations for busiest trade route post-Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Thursday (22 October) it would bring in legislation to try to minimise major delays and disruption at one of its busiest trade routes when it fully leaves the European Union.

In September, the government said there could be queues of 7,000 trucks in southeast England waiting to travel to Europe if businesses failed to get the right paperwork in place.

The government said it would now bring forward legislation to enforce Operation Brock, its strategy for managing traffic flow heading to and from the port of Dover in Kent, and providing holding parking spaces for thousands of trucks if needed.

Under the rules, heavy goods vehicles will need to obtain a digital Kent Access Permit before they enter the county or face a fine of 300 pounds, to enable the smooth flow of traffic onwards to the Channel Tunnel and Dover from where trucks travel into France and the European Union.

Read the full article on Reuters published on 22 October 2020

Lorry drivers will be fined £300 if they enter Kent without a permit

KAPs will be issued through the Government’s new service called Check An HGV

Legislation to fine lorry drivers £300 for entering Kent without a permit has been brought forward by the Government.

The Department for Transport said the move will help reduce the risk of disruption after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, as UK and EU negotiators embark on further talks over a trade deal.

Drivers embarking on cross-Channel journeys without a Kent Access Permit (KAP) will be identified before reaching the border by Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras and will face a £300 fine.

KAPs are intended to stop the county’s roads being clogged up once customs controls with the European Union are re-imposed from January 1.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government is proposing to update legislation to ensure its traffic management plans “can be effectively enforced and to incentivise hauliers to ensure they are ‘border ready’ before setting off for Kent”.

He added: “New opportunities mean new ways of doing things, and it’s sensible that we plan for all scenarios, including the risk of short-term disruption to our busiest trade routes.

“By putting in place these plans, we are ensuring Kent keeps moving, our fantastic haulage industry is supported, and trade continues to flow as we embark on our future as a fully independent state.”

KAPs will be issued through the Government’s new service called Check An HGV.

This will ensure drivers have the necessary paperwork before travelling to the port, the DfT said.

The Road Haulage Association has previously described KAPs are “pointless”, saying it is “not an effective system to actually guarantee or ensure that someone is ready to cross the border”.

The Government also announced that it will prioritise the journeys of a “small number of HGVs” exporting goods that are “very time-sensitive”, such as fresh and live seafood, and day-old chicks.

Read the full article on Wales Online published 22 October 2020

Boris Johnson’s FINAL Brexit deadline set as last-ditch talks agreed to secure EU deal

BORIS Johnson warned a Brexit trade deal must be sealed in a “very short” time, as talks with the EU resumed after a week-long standoff.

The Daily Express understands EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British counterpart Lord Frost have just three weeks to reach an agreement, which must then be approved by Parliament and European nations. Key sticking points remain fishing rights, the governance of any deal and the “level playing field” aimed at preventing unfair competition, including state subsidies.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said yesterday: “In terms of the timeframe, I think what I would say is that time is now very short. We have been repeatedly clear that any agreement needs to be in place before the end of the transition period.

“It is obviously for the EU to determine the length of time it needs for ratification.”

Confirming talks would take place in the UK and on the Continent in the coming weeks, the spokesman said, and “after this initial phase they will hopefully continue to be in person alternating between London and Brussels”.

Read the full story in the Express, published on Fri 23, Oct 2020