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Exiting the EU

Now that the EU Withdrawal Agreement has passed Parliament, the UK will enter a transition period on 31 January 2020 and passengers will be able to travel to and from countries in the European Union until the end of December 2020 as they do now, without the need for additional travel documents or other changes.

To access the government’s latest advice on Brexit, click here: https://www.gov.uk/brexit

There are likely to be some changes to travel requirements once the transition period is over, at the end of 2020. It is important to note, however, that regardless of a final deal or no deal outcome, passengers will still be able to book and travel by ferry to and from the UK with ease after 2020.

Portsmouth International Port is vital for transporting much-needed freight quickly to ports in northern France, Spain and the Channel Islands.

Known as ro-ro (roll-on roll-off), this ferry service works against the clock to make sure that goods never stop from when they arrive on board a ship, to leaving a port.

We want to make sure this essential just-in-time service, which only ro-ro ports can provide, remains uninterrupted and goods, alongside passengers, continue to flow seamlessly when the UK exits the EU.

Unlike other shipping methods, ro-ro is the best option for transporting goods that can’t afford to hang around. The clock is ticking for fresh produce and parts for manufacturing to arrive just in time.

Any impact that could cause a delay has serious implications for the wider supply chain. Often overlooked is the Channel Islands’ reliance on just-in-time imports, which sees 95% of all goods needed for the islands leaving through Portsmouth. Supermarkets depend on reliable services so they can keep their shelves stocked with supplies, so a 24-48 hour delay can mean empty shelves.

We understand that the position regarding the UK exiting the EU is a complex picture. Until there is a new trade agreement is in place, we must continue to make preparations in the event the UK exits the EU without a deal at the end of 2020.

As a major UK port many businesses rely on Portsmouth to transport goods across the Channel, it’s really important trade flows easily, which is why we’re working with multiple agencies to make sure hauliers can be processed quickly.

To make sure freight flows freely at Portsmouth International Port in the event of the UK exiting the EU without a trade agreement, a LRF (Local Resilience Forum) contingency plan will be in place. We will publicly advise you when this plan goes live, with as much notice as possible of the changes that could take place. 

Need help with customs?

If your business needs help with navigating the potential impact of Brexit on your imports and exports, Portico, based here at the port, have an experienced in-house customs agency. With all the necessary systems in place to make customs declarations, they are here to help with the challenges that lie ahead.

Contact them on imports@porticoshipping.com or +44 (0)23 9289 0503.