Abandonment of freight data capture is a victory for common sense

Wednesday 21 October 2009

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) welcomes the decision by the Home Office and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) not to implement police freight data capture powers for the movement of goods within the European Union. The leading trade body had raised strong concerns to the Home Office that the collection of data by police from individual freight consignments was not only unnecessary and highly impractical, but would have brought with it significant costs to doing business out of the UK.

The possibility of such information capture was introduced as part of the Immigration Asylum & Nationality (IAN) Act 2006 and was strongly opposed by FTA at the time. When the Home Office announced its intention to explore implementing these powers at the beginning of 2009, FTA challenged the Home Office to define what information it required, and how these requirements were to be enforced, and also to justify exactly why they were needed.

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Supply Chain Policy, said:

“FTA’s International Supply Chain Forum asked serious questions of the Home Office at two meetings of the Forum this summer and autumn. Members expressed utter incredulity that this measure was being reconsidered without apparently a clear rationale or understanding of the impact on business. It seemed that a sanity check was needed.

“FTA immediately demanded answers to some pretty fundamental questions, such as what justification have you for introducing these powers, and what will operators need to do to comply?”

For UK operators and shippers involved in the intra-EU movement of goods, the news will come as a huge relief, especially during the prevailing economic crisis.

Snelling concluded:

“We welcome this decision by the Government. The abandonment of these ill-thought out plans is a victory for common sense and an efficient supply chain.”


Notes for editors


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