A new deal aims to ease the flow of goods between the UK and continental Europe after Brexit.

Agreed between Eurotunnel and the TLF Overseas union, it will allow registered customs agents (RDEs) to benefit from a contact point at the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais.

The agents will become what Eurotunnel describes as the “interface” between truck drivers, French customs officials and sanitary and phytosanitary services.

Providing that operators have completed their import and export declarations in advance, they will benefit from “a smooth service 24 hours a day”, with drivers being assisted to provide any documents they are asked to supply.

Eurotunnel says that it has been working to mitigate the impact of Brexit on the flow of goods for the past two years, with the aim of making sure that measures are in place to maintain the flow of trade at the EU border.

It is, of course, no small undertaking — each year more than 1.7 million trucks containing 22 million tonnes of freight travel between the UK and continental Europe through the Channel Tunnel (equivalent to over a quarter of UK-EU trade).

Members of TLF Overseas (the Union of Transport and Logistics Enterprises of France — Overseas Activities) are drawn from all trades in the freight transport and logistics chain, including companies in road transport, courier express delivery, logistics, customs operations and shipping agents.

Announcing the agreement, Eurotunnel’s Jacques Gounon said that the company “has chosen to offer a tailored service to its customers in order to facilitate their crossings and to make the Channel Tunnel a smart border”.

Last reviewed 12 March 2019