Brexit borders are a problem for European freight transporters
The Freight Transport Association has warned the EU not to underestimate the massive challenge member states face when preparing their own borders for Brexit, along with the risk of long delays and disruption at European ferry ports.
FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, James Hookham recently gave evidence to the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism as part of a public hearing on the impact of Brexit on land transport into and out of the UK.
FTA was called to share its expertise, as the UK’s largest membership association in the freight and logistics sector.
Hookham advised the committee that continued trade was just as much an issue for the EU27 as it was for the UK and he warned the challenges and risks were also as great for the other EU member states.
The committee heard that an additional 300 million customs declarations will need to be made in the UK each year, compared to the 90 million declarations which are currently handled by the British customs system.
Hookham said each of these would be goods that originated from, or were destined for, somewhere in the EU.
He said: “The scale of this trade is truly enormous and it is important that all stakeholders comprehend what we are really talking about.
“Some 185,000 enterprises will be required to make customs declarations and other border checks after Brexit, for the first time in the UK. 80% of the vehicles that cross the English Channel between France and England are EU-registered vehicles.”
FTA is urgently seeking clarification from the EU on three key areas that will critically affect trade after Brexit; customs arrangements and facilities, the need for vehicle quotas and the recognition of driver qualifications.
Hookham said immediate action is needed to develop a workable system for the ‘seamless’ transport of goods across the new UK-EU border.