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Kent roads to be invitation only for international truckers

[ October 8, 2020   //   ]

A Kent Access Permit will be mandatory for HGVs using Channel crossings at Dover or the Channel Tunnel after the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December said the Government in the latest version of its Border Operating Model. There will also be a ‘Check an HGV’ service will allow drivers to ensure that they have the correct customs documentation in order to obtain a Kent Access Permit.

The Government’s updated GB-EU Border Operating Model, published on 8 October, also revealed that national ID cards will no longer be acceptable for entry to the UK from October 2021, and passports would be required for all travellers. Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said that ID cards were less secure than passports as a means of identification.

The updated Border Operating Model also maps out sites with additional capacity to carry out checks on freight.

The Government will also exercise an exemption within EU state aid rules to increase the amount of support that businesses can access from the Customs Grant Scheme. To date, the Government has provided more than £80m in funding to support the customs intermediary sector with training, new IT and recruitment.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, said: “With fewer than three months to go, businesses need to prepare now for new procedures whether or not we reach a trade agreement with the EU, so that they can seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead.”

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett, said: “It’s vital that hauliers and traders do everything they can now to prepare for our new trading relationship with the EU. Firms moving goods across borders will have to undertake customs processes whether there’s a deal or no deal. The message is clear – if the paperwork’s not right, the goods won’t cross.”

Logistics UK policy director, Elizabeth de Jong, said: “This clarity on trading arrangements from 1 January 2021 is welcomed by logistics businesses and it is now vital that all businesses trading with the EU use this guidance to make sure their staff and systems are fully prepared.”

But she added: “We now want to see the same clarity and detailed information for the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so that businesses can plan and logistics operators avoid delays.”

Chief executive of British Ports Association, Richard Ballantyne, said the industry welcomed the further clarity on borders but warned that timescales are tight. He said: “The sector is now engaged in technical discussions with various government departments about the implementation of what the requirements will mean at the frontier. The situation is gradually progressing but there is still much to be done.

“We now are encouraging the government to be as pragmatic as it can be to ensure free-flowing trade for when the UK is outside of the EU. The Border Operating Model really brings home how different much of the trading arrangements will be for UK traders next year and we expect to see a concerted drive to get everyone across the freight industry ready.”