“Check an HGV” service and Kent traffic management 

All goods being exported by road to the EU via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel will, from the 1st January 2021, need to use the Government’s new ‘check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service. Border ready goods will receive a green or amber Kent Access Permit (KAP) allowing them to proceed to their port.  

Kent Access Permit

Each KAP would be valid for 24 hours to cover a single trip, and police and DVSA enforcement officers could issue penalties to hauliers found heading for Dover or Eurotunnel without one. Thus, travelling in contravention of a ‘red’ result (being advised not to travel) or failure to use the ‘check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service at all and so not having a valid KAP, would be a fineable offence. It is proposed that fines for not having a valid KAP are set at £300. 

Enforcement would be against the driver, rather than the haulier or freight forwarder who has formal responsibility for completing the customs paperwork. This is because the offence of not having a valid KAP, ignoring the Operation Brock contraflow, or driving without a valid Brock permit would be committed by the driver of the vehicle. 

The government has been clear that goods moving from the EU to GB will also be subject to third country import controls, but these checks will be phased in during the first half of 2021.  

Further information on the ‘check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service can be found here 

Further information on the Kent Access Permit can be found here  

Operation Brock 

Operation Brock is a new traffic management system which would be used in Kent if there is severe disruption at the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel after the end of the transition period.  

This new arrangement enables HGVs to be queued on the coastbound carriageway between Junctions 8 and 9 of the M20 while non-port traffic bypassed the queue via a contraflow, and at other holding areas in Kent. 

When activated, Operation Brock exists in two ‘states’ depending on what phase it is in as follows: 

  • during the proposed Phase 0 and Phase 1, the M20 and the other Operation Brock routes would be in a state of ‘fluid flow’ (where HCVs are able to travel on the road, though at potentially slower speeds than the speed limit would allow) 

  • when Phases 2, 3, and 4 are active, we would see a state of ‘static queues’ at holding sites on the road (for example, between Junctions 8 and 9 of the coastbound M20) or at off-road locations (for example, at Ashford) 

If Operation Brock were in a state of fluid flow, the intention would be for HGVs not in possession of a KAP to be identified on the basis of registration numbers, either by enforcement officials or automatic number plate recognition cameras. 

If Operation Brock enters a period of static queues because congestion on the Brock routes reaches high levels, HGVs will be directed to the holding locations within the Brock system. In such circumstances, when traffic is static for a sufficient time, compliance checkers could additionally conduct vehicle-to-vehicle checks to ascertain whether drivers are in possession of a valid KAP. 

Further information on Operation Brock can be found here 

Local haulier permits 

Haulage companies holding a ‘Standard International’ O-Licence in East Kent will not be required to join Operation Brock queues and are eligible for a local haulier permit. These permits will allow vehicles to travel directly to the Eurotunnel entrance or to the Port of Dover via the holding areas approaching Dover on the A256 and A20. The permits will also allow vehicles to use the county road network as usual including the contraflow on the M20 coastbound and the A2 via Brenley Corner. 

Haulage companies holding a ‘Standard International’ O-Licence based in the following administrative district boundaries are eligible for permits: 
- Dover  
- Folkestone and Hythe 
- Ashford 
- Canterbury 
- Thanet 
- Faversham 
- Rye 

Kent County Council is in responsible for the local haulier permits. For further information on how to obtain one please contact the council