Government waives customs checks at ports post Brexit

London, UK: Trucks will be able to drive off ferries and the Channel Tunnel trains without making customs declarations in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government has announced.

New guidance for importers and hauliers says firms would file a simplified form online in advance and pay duty later, according to the BBC.

Under the HMRC “transitional simplified procedures” would be introduced for ferry routes from Europe, and for the Channel Tunnel, for at least a year if the UK leaves without a deal.

These would allow an importer to file a very short customs form – a “simplified frontier declaration” – only two hours before a lorry is due to cross the Channel by ferry, or one hour via the Channel Tunnel.
The truck would then be able to drive into the UK without further paperwork at the border.

The importer would have to update by computer the entry within 24 hours to tell HMRC the goods had arrived, and the duty would be payable as much as a month after the shipment had entered the UK.

The temporary system would be reviewed after three months, but is expected to last more than a year. The latest guidance applies only to vehicles entering the UK, but additional customs checks may also be introduced for EU-bound lorries arriving at Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk in the event of no-deal.

But Rod McKenzie at the Road Haulage Association said the guidance would not help. “Business is simply not ready for a chaotic no-deal Brexit,” he said. “The systems aren’t in place, the staff are not trained, there isn’t the time in the day for hauliers and businesses to do all the paperwork,” he told the BBC.

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