March 27, 2019
DEFRA, the British Government Department for Environment, Food, and Agriculture, has warned the country’s waste export businesses to identify “alternative export routes” so as to avoid disruption caused by a No Deal Brexit.
Although Parliament has indicated its preference for an extension to the Brexit deadline, there remains a chance the United Kingdom could still crash out without a deal in place at the end of this week (March 29).
According to LetsRecycle, Government departments are continuing to plan for all outcomes, with a meeting taking place last week between DEFRA officials, waste export companies, and representatives from HM Revenue and Customs, to update the strategy for a No Deal scenario.
The greatest concern is that changes to border controls, post-Brexit, may impact the movement of material across the continent, with delays particularly likely at ‘roll-on, roll-off’ ports for wheeled freight, such as the Port of Dover – one of the key export routes to Europe.
Officials impressed upon waste businesses the need for contingency plans, in the event that exports are delayed, including such provisions as back-up export routes bypassing congested ports, or even additional storage facilities.
“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, changes at border controls could delay waste exports – especially at the Port of Dover,” a DEFRA bulletin wrote. “The government is doing everything it can to reduce the risk of disruption and to minimise delays to exports.
If you haven’t already done so, we recommend that you make a plan as a precaution should there be any disruption at the ports that you use.”
In a further hurdle, businesses that do change their export route will need to change their export notification, which must be agreed between the UK and overseas authorities.
“Our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy makes clear that we are committed to dealing with more of our waste in the UK and increasing recycling,” said Environment Minister Therese Coffey. “But in the short term, we have taken important action to ensure any disruption caused by a no-deal Brexit can be minimised. This government has been absolutely clear on our commitment to deliver a Brexit deal negotiated with the EU. But the government is preparing for any eventuality and we need our businesses to do the same.”
Jacob Hayler, executive director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), sounded a reassuring message, but emphasised the need for a Plan B.
“The Port of Dover is confident that it has the right processes in place to prevent no deal disruption but the message is clear that operators need to have contingencies in place as no one really knows what would happen the day after a no deal exit,” he said.
Categories : Around the Industry