The Road Haulage Association, has cautiously welcomed the news from the Department for Transport that the European Parliament and EU member states plan to allow UK hauliers temporary market access for UK – EU trade without ECMT permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
But the Association considers that this will be of small comfort to the thousands of UK hauliers that need to make long-term plans.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The key word here is ‘temporary’.
“Of course, it will help international operators until the end of 2019 but what happens then? For many, the prospect of continued uncertainty will inevitably put business’s, particularly those responsible for the movement of entertainment and sporting events such as concerts and Formula 1 racing.
“With only 18 working days until the UK leaves the EU we still need clarity as to how the whole system will work post 2019 end to end. For the past 18 months we have been asking the Department for Transport and HMRC to make the border crossing process clear but massive gaps remain.”
Obviously, today’s announcement will give temporary relief to international operators but it is far from the promises of a free-flowing border at Dover, made by Transport Secretary Christopher Grayling twelve months ago.
Richard continued, “Traders and operators have been failed by the appalling lack of comprehensive and complete information needed to cross the border in the event of no-deal. It is simply unacceptable to blame industry for a lack of preparation as we are starting to see from some parts of Government, when Government themselves have failed to provide a workable border system.”
Notes to Editors
The RHA expects confirmation of the adoption of the new rules around week 18 March. Once know operators will be able to decide if they wish to take up ECMT permits that have been allocated to them.
The second round of applications for ECMT permits is now open. It is now acceptable to apply for Euro V lorries in this bid round.
Allocation of ECMT haulage permits: guidance for hauliers can be found here: https://bit.ly/2C6dyE5