Some lorries bringing goods from the EU to the UK have been stuck at the border for four days. The disruption has been blamed on “terrible” new Brexit red tape.
Truck drivers have reported queueing for up to eight hours trying to get through customs controls at the French port of Calais, causing delays in deliveries as firms struggle with the new rules that came into force at the start of January.
Jon Swallow, who runs the logistics company, Jordan Freight, has said he has had two trucks containing automobile parts stuck at customs controls at Felixstowe for the past four days, despite getting over the border into the UK.
The driver was able to leave the port, but the goods have been stuck there since Friday. “We just don’t know what the problem is – it’s crazy,” said Mr Swallow. “We’ve been told by HMRC that they are just too busy to deal with it. These delays are very frustrating and costly for companies.”
Customs experts said problems were partly down to the government’s new IT system, which means all imports from the EU must be processed using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) managed by HMRC. Many drivers have been unable to get their reference codes accepted.
But firms are also struggling with complex new customs declarations and rules-of-origin forms they have been required to complete on goods imported from the EU since 1 January this year.
Other Ascend Transportation content you may find of interest: