As lack of required paperwork holds lorries at depots and helicopters get deployed to deliver more urgent supplies, cross Channel transportation gets increasingly tricky. Furthermore, there are speculations that many UK manufacturers might have to seize operations completely if they cannot get the necessary components from outside of the UK in time.
In places such as Northern Ireland, the red tape slowed the flow of goods leaving shelves in supermarkets empty. According to hauliers in NI, prior to Brexit, the average time to manage the paperwork for haulings load moving from Great Britain to NI was around 20 minutes. This same load, with increased paperwork, now takes around 6-7 hours!
The government urges all freight forwarders to have the right paperwork ready before their drivers arrive at border crossings. However, with the Brexit deal being announced just a week before the end of the transition period, there was not enough time for businesses to prepare sufficiently.
Apart from paperwork, lorry drivers travelling to France are expected to present a negative Covid-19 test, conducted within 72 hours prior to crossing the border. Currently, many lorry drivers leave the Covid test until the very last minute when arriving at Kent or other ports that connect Britain and France. This puts more pressure on these testing facilities and causes further delays.
The under-secretary of the Department of Transport, Rachel McLean warned that freight delays could get worse if lorry drivers continue to arrive at Dover without getting tested beforehand. There are 34 testing facilities set up throughout the country with Armed Forces carrying out the tests.
When drivers get tested prior to arriving at the ports from which they cross the Channel, they get to go through the fast-track lane, preventing the border crossings getting clogged up. The tests done at these testing facilities are the lateral flow Covid-19 tests which produce a result within an hour. Despite it being quite an efficient process, if all lorry drivers choose to get tested at their final stop in Britain before crossing the border, delays cannot be avoided.
These 34 testing facilities reside in the advice site locations that were previously set up to provide truck drivers with information on the changes and requirements that were to take kick in on 1st January, this year. The full list of hauliers advice site locations can be found here.
If you have drivers transporting goods over to France, be sure to get all your paperwork ready on time and plan their routes in a way that allows them to get their Covid-19 test prior to arriving at the port town.
For any further questions on custom clearance declarations after Brexit, please contact our experts at UK Customs Solutions. We are here to assist you!