Firms need easements and financial support for customs chaos, RHA tells Gove

1st February 2021

The RHA has called on ministers to work with their EU counterparts to extend the easements being provided to supermarkets to cover all Northern Ireland supplies to give firms moving goods across the Irish Sea time to adjust to new processes.

Since 1 January, complex bureaucracy has seen trade and the movement of product stop, and with no signs of improvement hauliers are continuing to incur significant drops in trade and financial losses.


In a letter to Michael Gove, RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett explained that new guidance UK and Irish officials issued last week to help ease pressure on ‘groupage’ movements is unclear and not fit for purpose.

“The new model has not been stress-tested and does not consider the impact on suppliers having to develop bespoke processes within their own businesses.

“It also fails to address the complexity and overly bureaucratic requirements designed for external trade and not internal within the UK. It does not recognise the shortage of vets.”

Mr Burnett repeated his call on the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to host an immediate roundtable with Northern Irish hauliers to find a workable solution and provide financial support for those who’ve suffered significant losses as a result.

He also urged Gove to work with industry to understand how collectively we can resolve the customs intermediary shortage to adequately handle EU trade, suggesting that RHA intelligence indicates that loads to the EU have reduced by as much as 68 percent.

-Ends-

Note for editors

Letter to Michael Gove (1 February 2021)