Freight News, Sea, Road

We’re ready, even if the politicians aren’t, says Calais

[ January 15, 2019   //   ]

On the eve of 15 January’s Brexit vote in the House of Commons, the port of Calais published details of the new facities it had created in anticipation of a ‘No Deal’ outcome.
Port Boulogne Calais says it has been working closely with government services, transport associations, maritime operators, veterinary inspection services and other to help it maintain a smooth border crossing while meeting new obligations for customs controls and declarations.
There will be control zones for live animals and a Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service (VPIS) will be set up, together with an export declaration zone for freight that can accommodate 200 trucks at the East Port.
Calais adds that all measures are scalable and can be adapted according to traffic and the level of controls to be deployed in line with the final Brexit agreements, which are currently still unknown. Port staff have also been trained and , it says.
In parallel with physical arrangements, an intelligent system will be put in place. All declarations will be made into the customs declaration system before passing through the port and, when passing through the port, a connection will be made linking the vehicle’s registration plate with electronic customs documents. This will avoid any unnecessary physical checks and minimise congestion, the port says.
The cost of all these provisions is estimated at €6 million.
Ro ro freight through the port was down 4.5% in 2018 at 1.9m units, or -7.23% in tonnage terms (45.7m tonnes). However, first-half figures were affected by the withdrawal of P&O’s Pride of Kent for storm damage repairs; on its return, traffic in the second half of the year was more robust.
Work is meanwhile progressing well on the Calais 2015 project to create a new outer harbour with commissioning scheduled for January 2021.
The new breakwater has reached its final length and work on the Number 10 ferry berth has already been completed, with berths 11 and 12 now under way.
Calais adds that, as well as allowing an increase in the maximum size of ferries from the current 213 metres and facilities for rail feeders and unaccompanied traffic, the €862m scheme – part funded by the EU – will also allow it to meet any new obligations related to Brexit.

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