There are now 2 weeks left until the processes for moving goods in and out of the EU change.
With or without a free trade agreement we will be leaving the customs union and single market. Customs declarations will need to be made and hauliers will be expected to carry the right documents to get across the border.
I know many of you are acutely aware of the changes coming and are taking steps to be ready, but it is vital your customers, those whose goods you move, also take the right actions and give you and your drivers the right paperwork. If not, it will be your company and your staff who suffer as a result of traders’ lack of preparation.
There are a number of actions you can take today. From January 1, every haulier moving goods into the EU will need the correct driver, vehicle, cargo and customs documents.
Every vehicle will need:
- From your customers:
- A Movement Reference Number (MRN) for standard customs procedures
- A Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) for goods moving under transit
- A Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet, or a Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Carnet to goods moving using these customs processes
- Additional paperwork, for example an Export Health Certificate or Catch Certificate, for plant, animal or restricted goods
- Motor Insurance Green Card(s)
- A GB Sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailers if your company is GB based (even if the number plate includes the GB identifier under the EU logo).
Your customer will also need to make an Entry Summary Declaration (safety and security declaration) into the Import Control System (ICS) of the EU country you are travelling to.
Every driver will need:
- A driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
- An Operator Licence and UK Licence for the Community
- A driving licence, and potentially an International Driving Permit for some EU countries.
On Thursday 10 December, the EU published a proposed temporary contingency measure which would, if a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is not concluded, allow UK hauliers to continue to perform some journeys to and from the EU without the need for any permits. If approved, the Commission’s proposal allows UK hauliers the right to perform journeys to and from destinations in the EU for 6 months – until 30 June.
It would also allow UK hauliers to transit the Republic of Ireland on journeys to and from Northern Ireland, but it would not provide transit to third countries, cabotage or cross-trade. All hauliers who applied for ECMT permits for 2021 have received a response and have until 23 December to decide whether they wish to take those permits up.
The Haulier Handbook explains all the requirements for moving goods and how to use each of the EU country systems. I urge you to read it carefully.
We have also introduced the ‘Check an HGV is Ready’ service. It will help you check whether you have the right documents to cross the border. It will be compulsory for any HGV using the crossing in Kent – and using the service will give drivers a valid Kent Access Permit (KAP).
Your business will take the brunt of a lack of preparedness by your customers. This could be in the form of delays or entirely wasted journeys if your consignments are rejected. I urge you to be clear with your customers that they must equip you with accurately and fully completed information to ensure smooth passage.