Hauliers: Transition period “must be extended”

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) yesterday issued a desperate plea for the transition period to be extended due to the “impossible amount of work to be done” by the end of December.

The coronavirus pandemic has “stripped resources” from both the government and the haulage industry and neither will be able to properly prepare for the new customs arrangements, say the RHA.

They are sceptical of government plans to have 50,000 customs agents or form-fillers as the Financial Times described them, trained and ready by the end of the year. Even if the agents are recruited in time, hauliers have not been told what forms “will be required, how to fill them in, who is responsible for which forms, or where they will need to be sent.”

The RHA say this vital information should already have been received to allow freight forwarders and the international haulage industry to be ready in time.

Getting everything set for the end of the transition period was always “going to be a struggle before the world was hit by the coronavirus pandemic” but now say the RHA, with the devastating impact it’s had on the haulage industry and the government’s resources, calls for an extension are getting ever louder.

The press release is clear:

Haulage firms will simply “not be able to get ready for the new trade arrangements by the end of this year.”

The transition period, they say, simply “must be extended”.