As part of the UK Government’s planning for the end of the transition period, they have made a number of proposals for changes to Operation Brock to help avoid potential disruption on the Kent roads for HGVs crossing the short straits.
Using technology to upstream Border Readiness
Going through the details of the proposals we find the UK Government is looking at ways to incentivise traders and hauliers to ensure they are border-ready before setting off by making use of the proposed Smart Freight (SF) Service.
So, what is the smart freight service?
SF is a proposed online service being developed by the government for the RoRo freight industry, used across our sectors and UK manufacturing in general. This service will help to simplify and automate the process of establishing the border-readiness.
An online tool will ask questions relating to expected EU import controls. The service will include an online portal for registration of goods movements and an operator application to check compliance with the service. The SF portal will also be available in multiple languages.
For the end of the transition period, two key products are being developed:
- a web-based portal for the SF service (the ‘SF portal’) which enables the HCV driver, or someone acting on their behalf, to self-declare if they have all the documentation, they need.
- UK government’s intention is to legislate to enable penalties to be applied to hauliers bound for the EU that have not used the SF service on entering Kent.
What does this mean for ADS members and traders?
For now, the service is very much a proposal and so if members have any views, they should consider responding to the Government consultation on proposed legislative amendments on enforcing Operation Brock.
Members do need to make sure they familiarise themselves with the requirements of border readiness. Whilst we await full details of the final requirements for businesses trading with the EU as negotiations continue, there are some practical steps businesses need to be taking now.
Last month, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, wrote a letter to all businesses who move goods between the UK and EU, and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland letting them know about actions to take now, read our blog here.
ADS Brexit Hub
At ADS we are refreshing and updating our Brexit hub. We hope to launch this towards the end of August with all the latest information on negotiations and guidance on what to do to prepare. We’ll communicate to members when the new hub goes live.