Brexit and the Haulage Industry
24th September, 2020
As the government makes preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period, they are urging UK businesses to ensure that they are also prepared for 1 January 2021.
Michael Gove MP has issued a letter to the UK haulage industry on 22 September 2020 outlining the impact that a lack of preparation could have on the flow of goods to and from the European Union (EU).
How are the government preparing?
In order to try to avoid delays at UK borders on 1 January 2021 and beyond, Mr Gove has announced that the government will be operating a “smart freight system”. While the system is not yet live (it is due to be tested in November) he has explained how it will work in principle.
The smart system will operate a red, amber, green traffic light system. Only those hauliers given the green light, after passing a documentations test, will be given a Kent Access Permit (KAP). The KAP will be required to enter Kent and move goods in/out of the UK and across EU borders. The KAP will be issued digitally and will be valid for one journey.
The system is expected to be enforced by police officers and ANPR cameras. The fine for non-compliance is expected to be £300. The responsibility for ensuring that the KAP is in place is expected to lie with the vehicle’s driver and will apply to vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes.
As the system is not yet live and the necessary legislation has not been passed, we advise all our clients to continue monitoring the situation for any changes.
How can the industry prepare?
Mr Gove has referred the industry to government guidance on the steps required to prepare for the end of the transition period “irrespective of the outcome of negotiations between the UK and EU”. This guidance can be found at [ gov.uk/transition ].
Once this site is accessed, you will be taken to a page which asks you to click a “start now” button. You will then be asked a series of questions, which cover a mixture of personal and business circumstances. When all the questions have been answered you will be provided with guidance which is applicable to your circumstances.
These results will vary between each individual and business, but we have included links below to the guidance which is likely to apply to a broad section of our clients. This assumes that the client is a business registered in the UK, with employees of EU nationalities, concerned with the import/export of the goods to/from the EU and the transport of goods across EU borders, including through Northern Ireland.
Whilst there is no guidance yet on exactly what documents will be required once the transition period ends, we recommend checking the below guides frequently for updates as negotiations between the UK and EU continue.
The government have advised [ https://www.gov.uk/eori ] that businesses will need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and EU. This application normally takes around a week to complete and should be done in advance of 1 January 2021 to assist your preparations.
The paperwork required by UK hauliers to carry out international haulage in the EU is changing. More guidance can be found here. This guidance is subject to change/updates and we therefore recommend that this is checked regularly.
If you currently employ EU nationals, check that they have applied for / are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.
Head of Team and Partner
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