On the 31st January 2020 the UK left the EU and on 31st December 2020 the transition period will end resulting in changes for the freight industry. In the likely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal the following must be taken into consideration.

From the 1st January 2020, businesses importing good from the EU will have to make customers declarations. These declarations can be made by the business, courier, freight forwarder or customs agent. AFFA can take care of customs declarations for you.

Road Freight

From the 1st January 2021 road freight will be required to carry a ECMT International Road Haulage Permit for both laden and unladen journeys. UK drivers will also need to get International driving permits. From October 2021 EU, EEA and Swiss National ID cards will not be acceptable for travel to the UK, this includes drivers.

The additional protocols are likely to add time to border crossings for drivers, queue time will add to working time and even when drivers are permitted to proceed at the border, they may not be able to do so until they have taken a mandatory break in accordance with the Working Time Directive. 

HGV drivers will also be required to carry a Kent Access Permit in the bid to prevent tailbacks on the roads surrounding Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

Air Freight

Air freight may see an increase in demand following the end of the transition period with long delays expected at borders on the road. Despite this estimation air freight will see some changes.

The UK intends to recognise EU cargo security rules to minimise disruption to air cargo networks. Airlines flying from airports in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will be able to fly cargo to the UK as they do now without changes. The same applies to cargo flying from the UK to the above countries. 

For the certain goods being exported or imported to the UK licenses or certificates will be required, see the full list of goods here.

Furthermore for importing and exporting good from the UK as of the 1st January 2021 you will need an EORI number that starts with GB.

Sea Freight 

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK is likely to loose cabotage rights that are currently liberalised for EU members. The UK will become a third country operator and at the moment this country operators can only perform where the national legislation of EU member states extends to the rights of third country interests. This is currently possible in Denmark, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The UK government has also announced that in the event of ‘no deal’ it will seek third country recognition of UK Certificates of Competency as mandated y the International Convention on Stand of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. EU and EEA issued Certificated of Competency will still be recognised in the UK.

There are still a lot of uncertainties as to what the full impact of Brexit will be on the freight industry and we recommend businesses regularly review advice on the UK government website.