7,000 trucks could be stuck at Dover for two days after Brexit transition

Land Transport

Source: Politico, 2020-09-23

Up to 7,000 trucks carrying goods from the UK to the EU might face two-day delays in Dover after the Brexit transition, according to a leaked letter from UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove.

In a letter to trade bodies seen by POLITICO, Gove warned that the government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario” forecasts two-day delays due to border controls regardless of the outcome of future relationship negotiations between the EU and the UK

The biggest potential cause of disruption, he wrote, are traders not being ready for controls implemented by EU countries on 1 January 2021. The British government estimates that between 40 and 70% of trucks traveling to the bloc on that date might not be ready for new border controls. In the case of trucks due to cross the Channel via Dover and Eurotunnel, the estimates range between 30 to 50%.

The lack of capacity at the French ports could force trade flows through the Channel to drop by between 60 to 80% compared to normal levels, Gove said.

“Simply put, if traders, both in the UK and the EU, have not completed the right paperwork, their goods will be stopped when entering the EU and disruption will occur,” he warned. “It is essential that traders act now and get ready for new formalities.”

Officials expect disruption to worsen over the first two weeks of January as freight demand increases. Flows could also be impacted by absenteeism among port or border staff and social distancing measures to prevent coronavirus, according to the document.

Gove also urged hauliers to learn how to obtain all the necessary paperwork to avoid delays at the border.


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