Despite all the good intentions of British ports which seem determined to convert much of the cross Channel RoRo traffic to short sea feeder container services, the country will doubtless continue to rely on the existing ferry services and the Eurotunnel freight shuttles to carry loaded trailers in each direction.
Now the CCS-UK User Group, the trade body consisting of representatives from the CCS-UK Air Cargo community (Freight Forwarders, Ground Handling Agents and Airlines), together with CCS-UK (operated by BT) say they have jointly developed a solution to assist in the smooth movement of imports to the UK via RoRo ports or the Channel Tunnel.
The scheme, outline details of which were first announced in April 2019, has been approved by HMRC and Border Force for use in the event of no deal scenario, still a very real possibility if the bluff and bluster over negotiations emanating from both sides can be believed. The pair say the system will be adapted to comply with the processes required at the end of the current Implementation Period, once these details are known.
The solution is an extension of the CCS-UK Advance Information System (AIS), which is already used to provide airline temporary storage facilities (ITSFs and ETSFs), with input of advance information for both intra-UK and international truck movements and road feeder services. AIS helps these temporary storage facilities plan and manage their workloads better, which the proponents say could speed up processing and help eliminate truck queues.
The AIS RoRo solution can enable vehicles arriving at UK ports carrying EU origin cargo to proceed immediately to a designated CCS-UK temporary storage facility. This provides an alternative to using Common Transit, and means the vehicles do not need to use a port-linked clearance facility. That process has the potential to cause congestion, delays and incur the extra costs of acquiring a badge at the port concerned.
As well as streamlining cross-border movements, the partners say the solution will also speed up declaration processing at destination, due to its integration with the CCS-UK inventory. The process builds upon the pedigree of CCS-UK as a ‘leading community systems provider’ (CSP), providing connectivity between the cargo community and Customs, including inventory-linked temporary storage facilities.
As Brexit negotiations develop with greater clarity over the processes which will follow at the end of the Implementation Period, CCS-UK says it will, in conjunction with HMRC and Border Force, adapt the AIS RoRo solution to meet the new requirements. Existing CCS-UK users will be able to use their current service and facilities without the need to establish new links to other, port-based community systems. For new CCS-UK customers, the solution will avoid the need to use potentially congested port-linked clearance facilities.
CCS-UK User Group Chairman, Steve Parker commented: “The new RoRo module will facilitate smooth and congestion-free transit of cargo through the Channel ports, the Channel Tunnel and other ports in the UK, while enabling HMRC to collect duties, and Border Force to maintain robust security.
“Our discussions with forwarders, international hauliers, port authorities and ferry operators have revealed a great deal of interest. Using this method of reporting cargo movements, they all believe their processes would continue to work effectively, even without a continuation of frictionless trade.”