EU goods will be ‘waved through’ at UK ports in bid to minimise queues if there is no-deal Brexit
- Chances of a no-deal Brexit appear to be rising amid standoff in negotiations
- HM Revenue & Customs has unveiled new guidance for if the UK crashes out
- Goods will be waved into UK without customs checks on arrival, under the plans
EU goods will be waved through at UK ports to avoid huge queues if there is a no deal Brexit, it was revealed today.
Most imports arriving at around 20 locations will be allowed into the country before companies confirm they are here, according to new guidance from HM Revenue & Customs.
Instead firms will have around 24 hours to file a declaration for what has been brought into the UK.
The move could help reduce pressures at key ports such as Dover and Folkestone, although importers will still need to declare what they are shipping in advance. Security checks are expected to remain in place.
Most imports arriving at around 20 locations including Dover (pictured) will be allowed into the country before companies confirm they are here, according to new guidance from HM Revenue & Customs
HMRC released its latest guidance as preparations are ramped up for the possibility that the UK leaves without a deal in less than eight weeks’ time.
There have been warnings of huge tailbacks at major ports and shortages of fresh produce due to the need for customs and other checks.
HMRC outlined a plan for roll-on, roll-off locations that also include smaller ports like Heysham in Lancashire, Pembroke and Sheerness.
‘For a temporary period, HMRC will allow most goods moving from the listed roll on roll off locations to leave the UK port or train station before you’ve told us that the goods have arrived,’ the guidance said.
‘If you’ve submitted either a full declaration or a simplified frontier declaration, you must tell us as soon as possible when the goods arrive in the UK.
‘You tell us the goods have arrived by updating your declaration using your software application, or your agent can do this for you. You must do this no later than the end of the working day after the goods’ arrival in the UK.
‘If you’ve used an entry in your records, you must update your records to show the actual time the goods arrived in the UK. But you do not need to tell us about the arrival of the goods at roll on roll off locations.’
The advice said firms should still make a more detailed customs declaration by the month after the goods’ arrival in the UK.
HMRC will then collect any duties or taxes by direct debit.
Labour MP Geraint Davies, part of the anti-Brexit Best for Britain campaign, said: ‘They said we would take back control of our borders but now the plan is to wave things through irrespective of our safety.
‘We’ll have no idea what is coming into our ports.’
Theresa May will try to break the Brexit logjam with a speech in Northern Ireland tomorrow – after summoning Tory Eurosceptics and Remainers for crisis talks.
The PM will underline her ‘absolute commitment’ to avoiding a hard Irish border during the visit, according to aides.
Theresa May (pictured today arriving at Downing Street) has summoned Tory Eurosceptics and Remainers for crisis talks as she desperately struggles to find a Brexit strategy that does not tear her party to pieces
The mission emerged as Mrs May invited rebels from both Conservative wings to join discussions on how to handle the UK’s departure from the EU – which is now less than eight weeks away.
But Cabinet ministers have voiced fears that there is ‘nothing she can get’ that will satisfy the hardline Brexiteers. One told MailOnline they seemed intent on forcing no deal, warning: ‘She could get the backstop removed and even that wouldn’t be enough. They would just find some other excuse.’
Meanwhile, Brussels has ramped up the pressure by again flatly dismissing the idea that that Irish border issue can be resolved with technological fixes in the short term.
Angela Merkel said changes to the Withdrawal Agreement were not ‘on the agenda’, and the commission’s top official Martin Selmayr denied the EU was considering ‘legally-binding’ assurances.