Unfair to fine hauliers without correct paperwork post-Brexit says RHA

Peterborough, UK: The Road Haulage Association has hit out at government plans to fine hauliers for not having the right paperwork when travelling to ports once the Brexit transition period ends.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett told the Financial Times that the move would be “impractical and counterproductive”.

“Without an extra 50K customs agents to create the paperwork then haulers can’t be expected to go to the ports with the paperwork all correct,” he said.

His comments follow a Department for Transport decision to launch a consultation document on traffic management changes in Kent to avoid potential problems with the new EU-UK customs border that comes into force on January 1. While delays are “not inevitable”, the government believes that the level of preparedness could be at “levels similar to those anticipated for October 2019” when Operation Brock was first devised.

Although the government hopes that any disruption is “unlikely to extend much beyond the middle of 2021” it would seek powers to maintain Operation Brock until the end of October next year in case “disruption continues for longer than anticipated”.

Lorry drivers who approach the new border without the correct paperwork, or who tried to circumvent Operation Brock queues, would face on-the-spot fines of £300, with the potential for “multiple fines” if they broke more than one rule, the consultation document said.

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