Last reviewed 11 January 2021

Traders must ensure that they are fully ready under the new rules as the Government expects lorries travelling to the Great Britain-EU border will reach pre-Christmas levels in the week beginning 11 January.

This message has been issued by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, who warned of the possibility of disruption.

Exporters must provide the right documentation to hauliers, including export declarations and the extra certificates needed for products such as plant and animal products. Hauliers heading to Kent must get a negative Covid test and obtain a Kent Access Permit (KAP) before heading to port or they risk facing a fine and being turned away.

In the first few days after the end of the transition period, 18,000 KAPs have been issued, around 700 lorries have been turned away from the border and around 150 fines handed out for non-compliance.

However, Mr Gove highlighted, traffic has been light so far with an average of 1584 lorries per day attempting border crossings, which is only around 40% of historical norms. This time last year, there was an average of 4067 lorries crossing the border each day.

With the volume of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic steadily increasing by around 20% each day, the Government has calculated that around 40,000 trucks will be heading to France each week, by the end of January.

“We have always been clear there would be changes now that we are out of the customs union and single market,” Mr Gove said, “so full compliance with the new rules is vital to avoid disruption, and the best way to ensure readiness is to follow the guidance and use the ‘Check an HGV’ service.”

This can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/check-hgv-border with further details about the new procedures available at https://www.gov.uk/transition.