France testing no-deal border

September 10, 2019 8:56 am

French customs are conducting ‘Dry runs’ from mid-September to mid-October ‘to test customs system that will apply for freight crossing the Channel, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

France’s Customs authority will test its preparedness for a no-deal Brexit and a smart border in a series of “dry runs” with Transport et Logistique de France (TLF Overseas) through the corridors of Dunkerque, Calais port, Calais tunnel, Dieppe, Le Havre, Caen-Ouistreham, Cherbourg, Saint-Malo, and Roscoff.

European freight forwarding association CLECAT said that the test process “aims to establish a more exhaustive scope of testing, as close as possible to the real situation following a no-deal Brexit”, adding: “The main objective of the dry runs is to assess the level of readiness of all smart border actors and allow each of them to take on their own role as of the Brexit date.”

The tests will be undertaken by shippers, freight forwarders and customs representatives, and carriers. Software providers are also included in the process.

During the dry runs, CLECAT said that five major steps will be tested on import flows – import pairing, crossing, disembarking, SPS flow management and Customs flow management. Three major steps will be tested on export flows – export pairing, visas TIR/ATA and boarding notification.

Operational tests involving customs, veterinary services, infrastructure managers and shipping and rail companies have already taken place in March 2019

If the UK leaves the EU without any agreement, it will result in the reinstatement of customs formalities under the Ministry of Agriculture – including health controls and inspection certificates.

The main objective of the dry runs, said French Customs, is to assess the level of readiness of all smart border actors and allow each of them to take on their own role from the implementation of Brexit.

French Customs has recruited 700 additional officers.

HMRC processes and easements announced ahead of the original Brexit deadline of 29th March 2019, will come into force if the UK were to leave the EU without any deal or Withdrawal Agreement.

Our advice is to work through our Brexit checklist, so you are ready for any eventuality:

1. UK EORI Number (allocated)

2. Register for TSP
3. Confirm your commodity codes
4. Assess duty cashflow impact
5. Get deferment a/c or set up with us
6. Check your situation with us

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