The Freight Transport Association has again warned the EU to not underestimate the massive challenge that will be faced by member states when they are prepare their own borders for the UK leaving the EU. The changes to the borders could lead to long delays and disruption at European ferry ports if member states are not prepared.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the FTA, James Hookham has submitted evidence to the European Parliament Committee of Transport and Tourism as a part of a public hearing on the impact that could be felt from Brexit on land transport carrying goods in and out of the UK. The FTA was called by this committee, and gave their evidence on the 22nd November 2017 in order to offer an opportunity for the association to share their expertise as the largest and most influential membership association in the freight and logistics sector in the UK.
As a part of the evidence that was submitted, the Deputy Chief Executive has advised that the European Parliament Committee that continuing trade was as much of an issue for the remaining EU27 as it will be for the UK and there will be a number of challenges and risks that could have a significant impact on the EU member states. It is vital for both parties that a successful trade relationship is maintained, and it is recognised that this is a challenge for both sides, not just the UK.
The committee heard as a part of the evidence submitted at this hearing that an additional 300 million customs declaration would be required in the UK each year, this in comparison to the 90 million declarations that are currently handled by the British customs system. Mr. Hookham has said that each of these would be to manage goods that have originated from or destined for somewhere in the EU. Because of this, it becomes clear that the scale of the trade opportunities on offer is enormous and it is vital that all of the stakeholders understand what the consequences of their discussions will be.