Have there been any delays in the first week after Brexit?


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Par Anthony Reuben
BBC reality check

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It has been a week since the United Kingdom ended its transition period and completed its separation from the European Union.
UK businesses have had to fill out customs forms to export to European countries, but we didn’t see the big queues on Kent’s highways that some feared.

Stage view

Simon Jones, BBC News, in Dover

In many ways, business went as usual at the Port of Dover and at Eurotunnel. A constant flow of trucks boarded ferries and trains for France.
But the new year also brought new controls for carriers. Kent congestion predictions have not come true, but traffic remains exceptionally low – likely due to storage in the run-up to Christmas.
As more carriers return to the roads, the new system will be subjected to more severe testing – especially as Covid testing for anyone wishing to travel to France is expected to continue for at least Two more weeks.
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On Monday morning, the Department of Transport said only around 1% of trucks arrived without the correct customs documents, with a further 3% being sent to Manston for testing because they did not have the necessary Covid result. He has not updated these figures since.
But on Thursday, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) told BBC News about one in five trucks were turned down for both reasons.
He estimated that there were around 2,000 trucks per day in each direction crossing Dover-Calais and passing through the Channel Tunnel, against a normal daily figure of 5,000 to 6,000.
Trucks arriving at Doverimage copyrightPA Media
John Glen, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Supply, told BBC News he had heard from customs clearance officers working in Dover that there was a lack of preparation on the part of companies and a lack of capacity on the part of the customs brokers that the companies employed. help.
This is expected to improve over time, but those affected “are concerned that demand will increase faster than capacity,” he said.
The Sainsbury’s boss also said that while the flow of goods had gone well so far, the real test would take place in a few weeks, when traffic was normal.
John Glen added that many of the problems leading up to Christmas were due to ports like Felixstowe and Southampton being blocked, in part because dock staff got sick. This meant that ships avoided British ports and dropped off containers in Antwerp or Zeebrugge instead, letting them be transported by road, which increased problems for roller ports such as Dover.
Other issues were reported during the first week:

  • Business leaders said there had been
    “Significant problems” with cargo going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Six trucks from the first ferry arriving in Belfast on January 1 were delayed due to incomplete documents
  • While the British government has succeeded in renewing most of the trade agreements concluded with third countries within the framework of the EU which did not include Ghana. It was mentioned in Parliament this week that a tariff of £ 17,500 had been applied at Portsmouth on a shipment of bananas from Ghana.
  • There has been confusion over customs declarations on packages going from Britain to Northern Ireland, with some retailers like John Lewis suspending deliveries. “
  • Japanese automaker Honda has suspended production at its Swindon plant, blaming global supply delays. It had also done so in December due to congestion in ports
  • Parents of children with severe epilepsy said they were no longer able to get their prescriptions for a particular medicinal cannabis oil from the Netherlands. Health secretary said he was working with the Dutch government to find a solution
  • Some online retailers specializing in EU countries have stopped shipping to the UK, saying they would face higher costs and increased bureaucracy to comply with UK tax authorities.
  • Trading in shares of companies from EU countries that previously took place in London has moved to exchanges in other European countries
  • The Federation of Small Businesses says many UK businesses have temporarily suspended EU imports and exports to see how the new changes play out before deciding on next steps.
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