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If there is a Brexit agreement on a trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union at the end of this year, the clearance point will come into effect on January 1, 2021. This is nothing new for the logistics company Transport Vooruit. Before the founding of the European Union in 1992, the company already had its own customs facilities. “We have this experience, so I’m not worried about it,” says site manager Carlo Gelauf.
Clearance is very simple. A truck from the UK is registered with the company in Breskens. The trade is digitally filtered and the goods can then be transported in the Breskens distribution hall to other trucks that can transport them across Europe.
However, Brexit is not without concern. Glauf knows that, too. He especially wonders what will happen in waiting times at UK border control points. “Imagine a truck with fish of different addresses is selected, divided into three trucks here. Then there are three trucks here that are late because of that truck over there.”
What does cargo clearance mean?
If the goods come from outside the European Union and have been imported, they must be cleared. This means that any import duties, taxes and value-added tax will be paid on those imported goods. Additionally, it instantly records the goods entering the Netherlands.
But this is not yet clear. For Carlo Giloff, it is especially important that they can clear customs themselves as a company. “Most of the goods are inspected in Calais. During the week the customs clearance takes place in Boulogne-sur-Mer. This is the largest fishing port in France. At the weekend we can facilitate the same in Breskens and that means they can continue directly to Calais. To drive.”
Irish driver James Brown also sees this feature. He’s been driving across Europe his entire working life and knows better than anyone the consequences of Brexit. He says the fact that there is a clearance point in the company where goods are transported over the weekend is positive. “I think so. It would be of great help to everyone if there is clearance on both sides. Clearance on the departure side and clearance on this side. This is much easier, not only for me but for all truck drivers.”
Worried about customs duties
However, Brown also holds his heart up when it comes to customs controls within the UK. “We have to pass through England, and they have to physically check the goods, and maybe we have to pay customs to get the transit papers to enter England, these transit papers to leave England, these are all question marks.”
If an agreement is not finally reached, it will have dire consequences and everything will become more ambiguous. Customs point can become unstable and wait times can be longer. If this scenario becomes reality, everyone will have to return to the drawing board to see the possibilities again.
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