While Brexit negotiations are still underway and nothing is yet set in stone, the possibility of a no-dealBrexit seems even more likely. The concept of a no-deal Brexit has undoubtedly worried many, with Whitehall even issuing guidance to different industries in the event of a no-deal. So, what does a no-deal Brexit really mean for hauliers?
No-Deal Brexit Potential Problems For Hauliers
From day one of Brexit, the Highways Agency predict 14 days of road chaos with delays and congestion inevitable at borders and ports. With this, shortages are likely to affect almost every organisation that relies on imports. This means hospitals, shops and businesses face the threat of empty shelves.
- Invalid Driving Licences
In a no-deal scenario, UK driving licence will no longer be valid in the EU, unless it is with an International Driving Permit. For hauliers, this becomes a vast administrative undertaking. Furthermore, Pauline Bastidon, Head of European Policy at FTA says that only 1,224 permits every year are expected to be made available to hauliers. This could dramatically limit transport across Europe.
With the requirement for checking shipments at customs, delays are inevitable. However, research by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) found that just half an hour of UK customs delays has the potential to bankrupt around 10% of firms. Movement grinding to a halt isn’t just an inconvenience and frustration, but an economic nightmare for firms too.
- Certificate of Professional Competence
Drivers, transport operators and managers must have a Certificate of Professional Competence in order to work in the EU. Previously, this certificate was more accessible to acquire as they can be issued in the UK. However, from Brexit, drivers will need their certification to be issued from an EU country to continue working in the EU. A driver breaking these rules would potentially be voiding their vehicle insurance, which is a no-go for hauliers.
- Permanent Establishment
A no-deal Brexit will mean that UK firms, who want to continue operating in the EU will need a ‘Permanent Establishment’ in an EU member state. Those without a ‘Permanent Establishment’ will no longer be able to deliver goods within the EU.
How Can Hauliers Prepare For A No-Deal Brexit?
- Review every import and export activity and looks for areas where you can spread the risk.
- Examine and amend all contracts regarding timing and service level agreements.
- Update your customers and make them aware of potential problems and how they may be affected.
- Ensure you classify items with custom commodity codes.
- Research where duty reliefs apply and where savings can be made.