Truck drivers that are looking to take their haul into the EU from the UK now must comply with a new, untested computer system that the EU has set up “to avert chaos” at the border – but will likely wind up causing it.
The system is called the Smart Freight System and it requires drivers to file information electronically and receive approval from tax authorities before being allowed to travel to the border, according to Bloomberg.
The information was detailed in a recent 200 page report called “The Border with the European Union”. The document, reviewed by Zero Hedge, lays out in painstaking detail how products of all sorts should be moved across the border according to whether or not the point of entry has various computer/inventory systems in place.
The systems are being put in place to stop trucks with incorrect paperwork and to prevent traffic jams. The system relies on a system called the Goods Vehicle Movement System – which so far has not been tested – in place in time. The government is aiming for July of next year for the system to be put in place and, in the interim, haulers still need permission from the government before moving goods over the UK/EU border.
The systems and the 200 page manual is likely just the start of the bureaucratic changes that need to take place in order to help the UK continue unfettered trade with its largest trading partner.
The UK’s tax authority predicts that in a post-Brexit world, firms will need to file about 400 million extra customs declarations at a price of $41 each. Last week the government rolled out an ad campaign to help prepare businesses for the new changes. The changes couldn’t come at a worse time, either: 45% of businesses were found to be unable to prepare for the changes due to the coronavirus.
Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy and public affairs at the Road Haulage Association, said: “Of course clarity is welcome, but this clarity isn’t clear. They unveil an immensely complex customs plan with five months to go. The truth is we needed 18 months to prepare, not five.”
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the country will spend 705 million new border infrastructure to help facilitate the changes. The government is looking to acquire about a dozen sites along the border to help hold delayed goods and implement customs procedures.
And it’s not just truckers that are feeling the new administrative consequences of Brexit. Citizens are being told that if they want to visit the EU, they will now need travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. They also won’t be able to use pet passports and may now face roaming charges on their cell phones.