The European Union and the United Kingdom entered into a trade deal, which will take effect on 1 January 2021. Finally, there is some more clarity, but it does not mean that companies do not need to prepare anymore. Despite the agreement, customs formalities will apply to freight traffic with the UK after Brexit as from 1 January 2021, Port of Rotterdam said in its release.
Millions of tonnes of freight are imported and exported via the port of Rotterdam every year, so governments, authorities, and terminals have to prepare for the new situation per 1 January 2021. The Port of Rotterdam Authority has been working on this for more than two years in close collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), Customs, Portbase, ferry companies, local governments, and other partners in the logistic chain. The chief objective of these preparations is to make the shipment of freight from Rotterdam to UK ports run as smoothly as possible while minimising the risk of traffic disruption due to congestion.
Ferry and short sea clients have been informed that cargo will only be allowed on board to the UK if it has been reported digitally in advance via Portbase. Drivers transporting cargo that has not been reported digitally in advance, will not be allowed access to the terminals. For trucks for the ferry terminals, truck parking places are temporarily available near the ferry terminals to the north and south of the port. The required traffic circulation plans have been completed. Media campaigns are being executed to urge specific target groups to prepare for the impending changes.
Forwarders, terminals, and authorities will have to get used to the new situation. In spite of all preparations and precautions, there is a chance that the logistic process will be running less smoothly than normal in the first days of the new year.