Following Britain’s departure from the EU, business owners have raised concerns that Brexit could result in lots of red tape for deliveries heading through Dover.
With the repercussions likely to have a significant impact on the way businesses deliver, we decided to take a closer look at the key concerns for commercial fleets and whether there’s a solution in sight.
New Driving Licences Required
As the EU will no longer recognise UK-issued driving licences after Brexit, British drivers who hope to travel in Europe may require new licences and registration certificates.
Without a recognised licence, British travellers will no longer be able to hire cars or take out insurance in Europe. This is especially problematic for commercial vehicles who cross the border at Dover as they will be required to seek a separate vehicle registration when travelling abroad.
For businesses with a large fleet of vehicles, the extra time and hassle could be significant. Furthermore, businesses could struggle to acquire a travel permit as there may only be a small number available for British truck drivers if there’s no solution reached through an EU trade deal.
Potential Delays at Dover
According to the Guardian, port authorities have said that lorry traffic in Dover has increased by a third in the past five years. In 2017, the port handled 2.6 million lorries and sees 17 per cent of the UK’s trade in goods pass through. That’s an estimated £122 billion a year.
Experts have stressed the importance of making the free flow of traffic though Dover a priority in post-Brexit negotiations. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and business owners have warned of 30-mile long queues stretching back towards London if every lorry is checked for the standard of goods.
Lorry Checks at the Border
With various calls to the Government for minimal red tape at Dover, the Transport Secretary has said that there will not be a ‘hard border’ at Dover causing delays, amidst fears that every lorry will undergo a two-minute check.
On BBC’s Question Time, he said: ‘We will maintain a free-flowing border at Dover, we will not introduce checks at the port, it was utterly unrealistic to do so’.
This, however, has drawn some criticism from pro-EU groups as post-Brexit Britain will be likely to have a different customs regime than the EU and they have argued that it will mean abandoning control over our borders.
Depending on how trade negotiations with the EU pan out, pallet deliveries and commercial fleets heading through Dover may encounter delays, with new paperwork, permits and registrations required to travel. The FTA and other experts have called for the Government to ensure the free flow of traffic through the border, and they seem to have addressed these concerns, albeit only briefly.
So, if you need to deliver your goods by road, it’s business as usual for the time being but we recommend keeping an eye on any updates that could potentially change the way you deliver to Europe.