Dutch authorities are taking steps to minimize delays caused by additional customs formalities at ferry and shortsea terminals should the UK leave the European Union on March 29, 2019.
Additional customs formalities, required for so-called third countries, would mean more intensive passport checks and inspections, leading to longer processing times at terminals.
Steps taken would allow the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, to better cope with customs documents that have not been properly prepared for maritime crossings to the United Kingdom (UK).
Of the approximately 54 million tonnes of freight that is traded annually between the UK and the Netherlands, around 40 million tonnes passes through the port of Rotterdam, and in particular via ferry and shortsea crossings.
As soon as Brexit is a fact, the Dutch sea ports will form an outer border between the EU and the UK and this is bound to have major consequences, in particular for the processing of customs papers and passport control.
A day before, on March 11, Belgium’s Port of Zeebrugge said it was also preparing for the UK’s potential exit and announced the introduction two new digital tools that would help make the flow of cargo to and from the UK as efficient as possible following Brexit.