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Exiting the EU

Guidance for passengers and hauliers

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.

Information for hauliers

We understand that the position regarding the UK exiting the EU is a complex picture and Parliament is yet to make a formal decision on the outcome. Until there is a legal agreement in place, we must continue to make preparations in the event the UK exits the EU without a deal.

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 deal, a LRF (Local Resilience Forum) contingency plan called Operation Transmission will be in place. We will publicly advise you when this plan goes live, but wanted to give you as much notice as possible of the changes that could take place.

To prevent delays and avoid cancellations to your travel plans follow these instructions. 

  • All hauliers bound for the EU will have to show an entry pass when arriving at the Port.  These passes will be issued at one of the inland check points, where ferry bookings will be validated. This means no booking, no entry
  • Hauliers with a valid pass will be fast-tracked, so there aren’t hold-ups arriving at the Port  
  • Special signage will be in place using the standard lorry and ferry symbol directing you to a check point
  • Drivers coming from the north or west (M3, A34, A3) need to use the check point at the A31
  • Drivers coming from the east (A27) should use the check point at  Junction 1 on M275
  • At the checkpoint you will be asked to show a valid ferry booking reference, and then issued with a Port entry pass to allow travel on to the port
  • All hauliers without a valid ferry booking will be redirected out of Portsmouth

A map of the checkpoints is available here. If you have any questions about your booking, please contact your ferry operator.

Information for passengers

In a no-deal situation please can both passengers and hauliers follow these simple steps to prevent cancellations and delays to travel plans:

  • Only travel to the port if you have a valid booking on a sailing from Portsmouth.
  • Arrive on time, if you arrive too early this could cause congestion.
  • Check that you have made the necessary preparations to be able to drive in the EU in a no-deal scenario. More information is available at the gov.uk website.
  • Check that you have at least 6 months left on your passport from the date of renewal if you are due to travel soon.
  • Please check our Twitter account for the latest updates.

Further information on Exiting the EU is available on the Portsmouth City Council website and at https://www.gov.uk/government/brexit