The British Ports Association has urged the UK Government to ensure a smooth transition to the new customs arrangements under the Great Repeal Bill, a part of the country’s Brexit move.
Commenting on the publication of the bill, the British Ports Association’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne suggested that the Government’s statements need to be reinforced with assurances on cross-border customs arrangements.
“At the beginning of the historic Brexit negotiations we have been highlighting some of the potential implications of leaving the EU now facing parts of the freight and maritime sector, particularly at ‘Roll-on Roll-off’ ferry ports that handle HGV traffic. Leaving the Customs Union will almost certainly mean that freight carriers moving between the UK and the EU will be required to provide customs declarations, potentially leading to congestion at ports,” Ballantyne said.
“It is vital that the new customs arrangements are non-disruptive and in place in time to ensure that important parts of the freight and ports industry is not faced with a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit scenario,” he added.
“Post Brexit we will be calling for the EU Port Services Regulation to be repealed as it is unwanted and unnecessary in the UK’s competitive ports sector. We will also be encouraging the Government to give real consideration to amending legislation which could allow for fast track planning and consenting at ports to help stimulate economic growth and trade,” he informed.
Under the proposals the Repeal Bill, which is formally known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, will repeal the European Communities Act 1972, and is designed to convert all existing EU legislation into British law.