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Test before travelling, Logistics UK tells hauliers

Logistics UK is urging all hauliers to obtain a clear and valid COVID test result and carry the correct paperwork before attempting to access the roll-on-roll-off services at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel in Kent, which take HGVs the 21 short miles to the EU’s new frontier at Calais.

Tests are available at the government Information and Advice centres. Alternatively the Department for Health and Social Care can help you receive one at your depot.

Following the long delays on Kent’s roads in the lead up to Christmas, caused by the closure of the French border to traffic, freight has been unusually quiet in Dover and Folkestone, owing both to pre-Brexit stockpiling and the fact that the first fortnight of a new year is traditionally a slow one.

However, freight volumes are gradually returning, with around 2,500 HGVs expected each day, although at its peak the Port of Dover alone can handle up to 10,000 HGVs.

While there have been some teething issues following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 and the introduction of Customs checks on the French side, the situation is broadly stable. Eurotunnel said at the weekend that the vast majority of HGVs were “fully compliant” with the new trading arrangements. It has been reported that the Department for Transport estimated that nine out of ten trucks crossing the Channel last Wednesday were considered to be ‘border ready’ and carrying the correct paperwork.

Richard Christian, Head of Policy and Communications at the Port of Dover, said: “As we adapt to the new normal regarding post-Brexit border arrangements, it is vital that logistics run as smoothly as possible in order to continue to maximise the benefits of the Short Straits. At this critical time as we also deal with the ongoing ramifications of the pandemic, that means obtaining a valid negative COVID test and being border ready before entering Kent. You cannot travel without either, but you can be fast-tracked to Dover with both.”


Published On: 14/01/2021 17:00:52


In brief


Logistics UK has responded to reports of disruption to NI-GB trade, saying that it is a result of businesses not having a full understanding of the new border requirements for moving goods to and from Northern Ireland. “Some confusion is inevitable,” said Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, “but it is now vital that government steps up communication with industry to ensure that loads can be dispatched with the correct paperwork and declarations.”


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