This is an update from FTA on the current situation surrounding the coronavirus. FTA is actively speaking on behalf of logistics in regular industry calls with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as well as the Department for Transport (DfT), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and other government departments.
FTA has written to Baroness Vere on the subject of HGV testing. In our letter we have set out our concerns and priority actions for ensuring there is sufficient testing resource in the short-term, improved ability to prioritise and plan over the medium term, and a rebuilding of the industry/DVSA relationship over the longer term.
Building on the legislative proposals laid before parliament this week, our focus is now on making the case for Certificates of Temporary Exemption to be able to be extended for up to 12 months to the anniversary of their original 2020 test date, for certain categories of low risk operators and vehicles.
DfT consultation on light vehicle MOT certificate extensions
FTA has responded to a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on plans to stop issuing new extensions to light vehicle MOT certificates (extensions already granted would remain).
On 25 March, the Government announced that light vehicles would be granted a six-month extension to their MOT certificate validity. The measure was introduced over concerns that, as garages closed and MOT testers succumbed to isolation or illness, there would not be sufficient testing capacity to allow vehicle owners and operators to get the statutory test done. After some initial confusion, the Government clarified that garages were allowed to remain open (whilst car showrooms must close). Each month, vehicles with a test certificate expiring that month would have six months’ validity added.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) figures indicate that, at the end of May, normal test volumes were at over 65 per cent, and over 80 per cent of registered MOT garages had some testing activity. In an email survey with FTA members of the Van Policy Working Group and the Utilities Group at the beginning of June, a significant number of respondents indicated they had managed to keep garages open and retain established testing schedules. However, some members did indicate they were concerned that the use of the exemptions has created a backlog – whether that be in their own operations or in the wider market – which could see demand exceeding supply when the extensions stop being issued.
The DfT consultation investigated how much lead time, or notice, would be required ahead of the first date when extensions would no longer be issued. The options offered were two to four weeks, four to six weeks or six to eight weeks. In its response, FTA supported the longest possible lead time of six to eight weeks. This issue will be discussed at FTA’s Van Policy Working Group which will meet by webinar on 7 July.
Members can register for the Van Policy Working Group on 7 July (13:00 – 14:00) here.
Quarantine form locator update
Following the implementation of quarantine arrangements at UK borders, FTA has been in touch with the Home Office, seeking clarity on a number of points. The Home Office has now provided guidance on the locator form, in several different languages, to support hauliers entering the UK. Please find links to French, German, Italian, Polish and Romanian translations below. If you require guidance in another language, please email email@example.com.
Maritime Restart and Recovery Steering Group – first meeting
FTA Chief Executive, David Wells, participated in the first meeting of the Maritime Restart and Recovery Steering Group, an industry-government body guiding the Department of Transport (DfT) on long-term measures to support recovery plans in the maritime sector. Issues discussed included: the need to attract a skilled workforce and how Government policy could support that; the need for passenger operations to recover in the ferry sector, which will also benefit freight; and, the need for Brexit to deliver low-friction borders. FTA is involved with this initiative at a working-group level as well, working on a dashboard of critical issues for COVID-19 recovery.
Northern Ireland COVID-19 regulation update
The Northern Ireland (NI) Executive has proposed indicative dates for further relaxations to the Coronavirus regulations. The comprehensive timetable of indicative dates is intended to give notice that will help to facilitate preparations for safe restart and reopening.
The NI Executive agreed that two metres remains the optimum distance to maintain physical distance where possible. However, the Executive has indicated that, where appropriate mitigations can be made, a distance of no less than one metre between individuals should be adhered to.
Full details can be found here.
Webinar: Contact Tracing Update for Employers – Welsh Government
The Welsh Government is running a webinar to explain how contact tracing will work across Wales.
In order to understand what this means for employers, Sharon West, from the Welsh Government Test Trace and Protect team, and Dr Giri Shankar, from Public Health Wales, are delivering a webinar which will provide a ‘walk through’ of the contact tracing system in Wales.
The webinar, delivered via Microsoft Teams, will take place on 1 July between 12:00 - 13:00.
If you are interested in joining this event, please register your attendance by emailing
COVID-19 Contact Tracing at COVID19ContactTracing@gov.wales.
Contacting FTA for compliance and policy advice and feedback
Please continue to contact the Member Advice Centre for queries relating to what is or has been decided will happen (eg, ‘what are the rules for X, when does Y start’). This includes Covid-19 related regulatory exemptions, extensions or relaxations.
We have also set up a dedicated email address for issues members would like to raise in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic with the FTA Policy Team; please use this for emerging issues or concerns. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, both the Member Advice Centre and the Covid-19 email address are only monitored during office hours.
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The areas we are calling on government to take action on are:
- Optimise the recovery of the sector by ensuring economic growth returns.
- Facilitate both safe-working and safe-consuming to reactivate supply and demand in the economy.
- Reduce the financial risk companies shoulder by continually monitoring financial issues in our industry and ensuring cross-economy financial support schemes work for logistics.
- Deliver certainty for industry on the future of HGV testing, and ensure that regulatory requirements do not create bottlenecks in the safe return to work.
- Enable businesses to restructure/defer loan repayments with finance providers.
- Ensure goods can move freely and sufficiently across borders, including air and sea.
- Temporarily suspend track access charges for rail freight.
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