The Road Haulage Association is offering advice to its members on how to avoid what it is calling a ‘Brexit Armageddon’.
The RHA said: “There’s been a lot of coverage recently about what will happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The potential for massive delays at Dover and other ferry ports have been highlighted. What can an operator do to minimise the impact or prepare for the worst? Well, given there are so many unknowns it is difficult for road operators to take much action without risking wasting a lot of time, effort and money. But – there are two things that you can do now.”
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “Firstly, we would recommend that members encourage all their EU citizen employees to get full passports rather than rely on ID Cards – it is not certain that ID cards will work after Brexit. And it’s prudent for EU citizens to apply early given potential for backlogs and slow processing times.
“Secondly, customs controls of some sort will be introduced as the UK will leave the EU internal market. Operators need to encourage shippers and consignees to start improving paperwork now and aim to get international road haulage paperwork (description of goods on CMR notes) up to a standard that would be used to ship to the Far East.”
Meanwhile, following more reports of gangs in northern France trying to get on board UK-bound lorries, the Road Haulage Association urges members to report migrant trouble to a dedicated helpline.
The RHA Calais Incident Reporting Line – open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – has been set up to make it easy for haulage companies to report incidents.
The RHA has always argued that the authorities on both sides of the Channel must do more to protect drivers but they’re still running a terrifying gauntlet of migrants desperate to get to the UK. Only recently a haulier reported that 16 migrants were found in the back of a trailer – as far away as Brussels – and in another incident near Dunkirk a driver was slashed when he confronted two migrants he caught breaking into his trailer.
Richard Burnett said: “We are very concerned about the problem, which is especially severe at this time of year. This is a situation that is both out of control and totally unacceptable for those who are quite simply doing their job.
“The reporting line helps provide evidence and the understanding needed to ensure we are getting the protection that the haulage industry is entitled to expect.”
The number to ring if you or any of your drivers have experienced any sort of migrant activity in France or elsewhere is (+44) 1274 863111.
Callers will be asked for their name, what happened, the exact location of the incident and what damage was caused. The RHA will then pass the information to the Home Office and Border Force teams.