The UK government has confirmed that after Brexit, the UK will become a member of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) in its own right.

British Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride said “Membership of the convention will support traders both under a new trade agreement with the EU, or in the unlikely event of a no-deal. This gives businesses the continuity and certainty they need to plan for the future”

The UK is currently a member of the CTC whilst in the EU, and has negotiated this membership which stands in its own right. CTC is used for moving goods between the EU member states, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia.

The move was welcomed by the Freight Transport Association. Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy and Brexit, said: “In the event of no deal, traders making use of the CTC would be able to temporarily suspend the payment of duties and taxes, and to postpone customs clearance formalities until the goods reach their destination, rather than at the point of entry into the customs territory. This will be particularly attractive for UK businesses exporting into the EU.

“While it would not remove the need for border checks of a regulatory nature (such as sanitary & phytosanitary checks on agri-food products), the CTC has the potential to reduce checks of a fiscal nature upon entry into the EU. What is now vital for UK business is to ensure that all necessary arrangements for use of the convention are made so that, from 30 March 2019, traders may fully benefit from the facilities offered by the CTC.”

The UK government hopes it will make border clearances easier at key ro/ro ports such as Dover.

In the meantime the effect on companies, especially smaller ones, newly dealing with tariffs, duties and taxes could be substantial if they have no experience in clearing goods and understanding how it will affect their business.

We offer free advice based on what we currently know so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Jon Swallow, Brexit Co-ordinator here at Jordon.

NB. Please refer to previous blogs for more on no-deal preparations.