Saturday, June 6, 2020

Government spends millions to prepare hauliers for Brexit

A multi-million pound information campaign is being launched across the UK and Europe to ensure businesses and hauliers are prepared for the UK to leave the EU at the end of October, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will has announce today.

The public awareness drive will make sure hauliers obtain everything they need from traders to get through border customs smoothly, reducing risk of delays at ports.

The campaign will include:

  • a billboard and media advertising campaign
  • the establishment of 150 pop-up centres across the 10 countries covering the nationalities that process the most UK-bound road freight
  • the distribution of millions of multi-language information handbooks and pocket guides

Mr Shapps said: “The efficiency of our ports is of paramount importance. This multi-million-pound initiative ensures the UK will remain open for business, with goods continuing to move freely.”

As part of the campaign an email is today being sent to 70,000 UK operators, industry bodies and other interested parties detailing essential information for those driving to the EUafter 31st October.

If the UKleaves the EUwithout a deal, hauliers will be required to go through customs checks when exporting goods to the EUfrom the UK. It is the responsibility of traders to apply and obtain the right paperwork for the goods hauliers are carrying.

The UKgovernment will also be providing hauliers with a handbook and a pocket guide to clearly set out how they can prepare themselves, their vehicles and their goods so that they can continue to travel freely. The how-to guides will be available across the UKand the continent at pop-up facilities in service stations, truck stops and petrol stations.

Other initiatives in the information campaign include:

  • messages embedded into every booking confirmation email issued to hauliers by ferry operators, advising that anyone travelling from 31 October will require specific customs paperwork
  • tailored emails in relevant languages to influential trade bodies in countries across the EUcovering border readiness and new traffic management requirements
  • industry liaison days to ensure EUbusinesses receive clear information

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “With only 38 working days to go until we leave the EU, it is essential that information is delivered in a clear and concise way. Traders, haulage operators in particular, simply don’t have time to digest and implement the small print. They need to know, right now, how to get through the next few months.

“It is imperative that the entire supply chain understands what will be required. This campaign will ensure hauliers get everything they need from traders to get through border customs smoothly, thereby reducing the risk of holdups at ports and ferry terminals.”

Today’s announcement follows last week’s additional funding for Operation Brock – the contingency plan to tackle congestion in Kent in the event of any cross-Channel disruption.

The additional funds will be put towards a suite of measures, including standing up Manston airport as a lorry holding facility, the implementation of border readiness checks and increased resources to ensure drivers comply with Operation Brock.

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