“It is clear Government has listened to us” - said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. l

“It is clear Government has listened to us” - said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. l

Britain's Road Haulage Association (RHA) has welcomed HMRC's (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) announcement of a short-term, six-month suspension of the introduction of Safety and Security Declarations to allow operators and traders to focus on unresolved border issues post Brexit.

British authorities have unveiled plans to phase in pre-arrival forms for European Union (EU) imports known as Entry Summary Declarations, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Officials held a series of meetings with organisations who represent the haulage industry and handle a significant portion of the UK's cross border trade, to confirm from 29 March, the status quo will be temporarily maintained as they will not need to submit Entry Summary Declarations on imports for a period of six months.

Currently Entry Summary Declarations are not required when importing goods from the EU. They will continue to apply for trade from the rest of the world.

"It is clear government has listened to us," said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett. "We have been insistent the proposal to introduce consignment level Safety and Security Declarations for imported road haulage would be impossible to introduce by 29 March.

"The extension will help but it still isn't enough. There is no guarantee businesses will have the necessary processes in place in six months' time. It's just a stay of execution.

"We need practical simplification of the system to ensure it works for everyone and we will continue to push for this.

"However, the issue of goods leaving the UK and entering the EU by road remains. As things stand the demand will also be for consignment level declarations for these road-based movements."

The RHA continues to call for "massive simplification" of the declarations after the six-month suspension, noting government authorities will obtain the data on all shipments "from other sources anyway."

"Demanding a repeat of the same information, as currently planned, to meet unnecessary bureaucratic specifications is wrong-headed and inappropriate," adds an RHA statement.

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