UK to ease customs checks on EU goods in event of no-deal Brexit

Lorries are seen queuing in the A259 road during a test drive to the Port of Dover during a trial of how roads will cope in case of a no-deal Brexit in Kent, Britain, 07 January 2019. [EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL]

Most goods arriving from the European Union will be allowed into Britain without full customs checks for at least three months if it leaves the bloc without an exit deal, the British government said on Monday (5 February).

With less than two months until Britain is due to leave on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to get her Brexit deal agreed by parliament and the government has been stepping up its plans for the chance of a disorderly exit.

Freight companies have warned a ‘no deal’ Brexit could lead to miles of tailbacks as thousands of lorries face extra customs checks at major ports such as Dover, which handles 17% of the United Kingdom’s goods trade.

The government is building lorry parks along motorways and also plans to use an airport in southern England to cope with any tailbacks at ports on the English Channel.

Brexit: Eurotunnel preparing for increased checks in Calais

Every minute counts when it comes to maintaining a fluid flow of traffic at the entrance to the tunnel under the English Channel. In order to prepare for the return of new checks, post-Brexit, the Eurotunnel site in Calais is mounting a race against the clock. EURACTIV France’s media partner, Ouest-France reports.

HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC) said it had put in place transitional procedures for importing goods from the EU through 20 British ports and the Channel Tunnel, which it would review three to six months after March 29.

“For a temporary period, HMRC will allow most goods moving from the listed roll on roll off locations to leave the UK port or train station before you’ve told us that the goods have arrived,” it said in guidance to importers.

Importers must notify HMRC by the end of the next working day that the goods have arrived in the UK, it added.

Businesses will need to register for the simplified import procedure, which will mean they have to give less information in their import declarations and will allow them to defer giving a full declaration and paying any duty.

'Don't forget rail' in Brexit talks, urge UK industry leaders

The European rail network ferries millions of us to and from work every day. Yet rail representatives felt compelled to plead ‘don’t forget rail’ in Brussels this week, saying it was at the bottom of all priority lists despite growing concerns over the expected impact of Brexit.

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