HTA reacts to Border Operating Model

The Government has ramped up preparations for the end of the transition period by publishing an updated Border Operating Model, which provides further detail on how the GB-EU border will work and the actions that traders, hauliers and passengers need to take.

This publication gives traders further information on the changes and opportunities they need to prepare for as a result of us leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union. These steps will be needed regardless of whether a trade agreement with the EU is reached.

The updated GB-EU Border Operating Model:

  • Maps out the intended locations of inland border infrastructure. The sites will provide the necessary additional capacity to carry out checks on freight.
  • Announces that passports will be required for entry into the UK from October 2021 as the Government phases out the use of EU, EEA and Swiss national identity cards as a valid travel document for entry to the UK. Identity cards are among the least secure documents seen at the border and ending their use will strengthen our security as the UK takes back control of its borders at the end of the transition period.
  • Confirms, after extensive engagement with industry, that a Kent Access Permit will be mandatory for HGVs using the short strait channel crossings in Kent. The easy-to-use ‘Check an HGV’ service will allow hauliers to check if they have the correct customs documentation and obtain a Kent Access Permit.

In a further move to support the customs intermediaries sector, the Government is also announcing that it will exercise an exemption within EU state aid rules to increase the amount of support that businesses can access from the Customs Grant Scheme. To date, the Government has provided more than £80m in funding to support the customs intermediary sector with training, new IT and recruitment.

James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) says: “We now have a little more clarity on processes the garden industry can expect to encounter at the border after 1 January 2021. However, there is still much to be done by Government to work with us to ensure inspection processes for plants are risked-based and proportionate; how plants will be treated entering and moving within the island of Ireland; how new IT systems actually work in practice. The sector trades in perishable products, so we need an approach that minimises delays as much as possible.  

“Ensuring additional cost and regulatory burdens are kept to an absolute minimum is crucial to ensuring we have a sector that is vibrant and outlooking, that can help power a green economic recovery for the UK.”

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