Ten days after a new set of rules and regulations for goods entering Britain from the EU came into force, one of the UK’s largest independent freight forwarding and logistics companies says that they have proved to be less chaotic than predicted, and expressed cautious optimism about the new arrangements.
Davies Turner, which operates a comprehensive network of pan-European trailer services to and from the UK, reports that whilst it is early days in terms of truck movements, freight is flowing and it has already handled hundreds of trucks under the new Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) with declarations made by the company without issue, and a number of its partners and hauliers are successfully engaging with it.
The company acknowledges that there have been some teething problems with the new GVMS and that trade is generally slower at the start of the year, but believes that for imports, especially, having its own inland customs-bonded depots is an advantage and should drastically cut the risk of problems, or the need for one of its lorries to report to a Border inspection point.
Danny Southby, head of European Network at Davies Turner says: “Although we typically see a fairly quiet start to the year in terms of traffic, traders appear to be following the new rules and the systems seem to be working.
“This time last year, when new rules for exports to the EU came in, there were considerable problems. This year, so far, it is minor frustrations and a little confusion in terms of GVMS, and it is a breeze compared with January 2021.
“Nevertheless we have had a couple of enquiries already from EU-based foodstuff suppliers that are having problems with their usual transport provider, which indicates that some hauliers might be shying away from carrying foodstuffs.
“Davies Turner has decided not to accept any new business of foodstuffs, or products of animal origin, until such time as we are comfortable with the new rules in place, though we continue to serve existing clients.
“Under the new border regime, GVMS will play an important role in facilitating the fast movement of goods between the EU and Britain, but traders need to keep abreast of HMRC notices about how to use it correctly, as well as the guidance that we are providing.”
In addition to that guidance, Davies Turner has invested in its facilities, systems and people, and is ready to handle any problems that traders/shippers encounter with cross border trade between EU and GB. Several of its hubs have been refurbished to provide dedicated customs processing suites, as can be sen below.