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BPA welcomes ‘no deal’ proposals

(Posted on 14/09/18)

The British Ports Association has welcomed new Government proposals to help ensure maritime vessels and vehicles are able to travel to and from the EU post Brexit, following the publication of more of the UK Government’s advice on contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ Brexit outcome.

The new papers include advice on a number of maritime issues such as seafarers certificates and safety and security notices for ship and cargo, and also briefing on wider transport policy preparations such as drivers licenses, haulage permitting and vehicle insurance.

Commenting on the developments the Chief Executive of the BPA, Richard Ballantyne said:

“We welcome the briefing papers which will help to ensure ships keep calling at UK ports and lorries and drivers are able to travel between Britain and Europe, post Brexit. It is sensible that the UK Government considers all outcomes however we are now critically close to March 2019.

"Together with the advice published last month this brings home the potential of a ‘no deal’ outcome. There is now limited time for ports and freight operators to prepare and without certainty it is still difficult for terminal operators to commit to investment in physical and digital infrastructure that might be needed to facilitate changing rules for trade.

"We have been involved in positive discussions with the UK Government and are hopeful that EU negotiators can accept a deal which rules out the need for new borders checks at ports, as is set out in the Checkers agreement. Anything less than this will have serious implications and need to be planned for, not only in the UK but also in the EU.”

The BPA has previously raised concerns that the impacts of leaving the EU Customs Union and the Single Market could lead to disruption at ports. This is particularly the case for Roll-on Roll-off port operators, which handle the majority of the UK’s trade with the EU, and for whom a ‘no-deal’ could be a serious challenge with new requirements at the border. The Chequers agreement and the Government’s Brexit White Paper ‘Facilitated Customs Arrangement’ proposal offered a solution to the challenge of possible new customs and borders checks.

Leaving the EU Customs Union and Single Market means that without some form of agreement goods travelling to and from Europe will be subject to new authorisations and other requirements as of March 2019. The Government’s ‘no-deal’ advisory notices on trading with the EU can be downloaded by clicking here:

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