Removing obstacles to doing business internationally both at the border and on the roads.
As the UK settles into its new international position outside the European Union and develops its Borders 2025 strategy, the RHA is representing the interests of its members at every stage to help those with overseas business interests adjust to the new world.
Border controls increase delays and costs, which for consumers means higher prices and potentially empty shelves. The new Border Target Operating Model for imports was published on 29 August 2023, with a phased introduction up to 21 October 2024. The RHA regularly engages with government, and is a leading voice on the unique situation in Northern Ireland.
On exports, newly enforced EU rules are harder to influence but no less important to members. Drivers who are UK passport holders can now only visit the EU Schengen zone for 90 days out of 180, for both personal and professional trips – it is important members help their drivers keep track to ensure they do not breach these limits. Following RHA lobbying, Government is working with industry to understand the extent of these issues, and we are encouraging creative thinking to deal with the issues they uncover.
The M20 – Dover Straits route is Great Britain’s most important corridor for international road freight. It is the busiest route for Roll on, Roll off (RoRo) freight in Europe accounting for c12% of UK trade. It accounts for around 3.6 million lorry movements per year, 55% of the market. It is the main corridor for fresh food to move between the UK and continental Europe and is the most important route for time sensitive manufacturing components. The RHA is working closely with Government and UK Ports of Entry, particularly in the Short Straits, to ensure the infrastructure is in place to keep trade moving on this vital route.
On international matters, the RHA is ensuring that:
- Government is fully aware that, unlike other businesses operating overseas, for the road haulage industry the European Union is the only available market.
- The necessary physical and technological infrastructure is put in place well ahead of new border regulations to ensure smooth goods flows as changes are enacted.
- The interests of businesses operating in the European Union, and the difficulties they are facing are fully heard.
- Creative solutions employing the latest digital technologies are fully explored.
Our key asks on international are:
- Ensure Government preparation for Entry Exit System introduction
- Secure an industry supported solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol
- Digitalisation of border controls