Channel Tunnel group 'ready' for no-deal Brexit

Channel Tunnel operator Getlink said it is “ready for a no-deal Brexit” ahead of the UK’s imminent exit from the EU. The group, which runs Eurotunnel, said it is prepared to deal with new customs regulations if a no-deal scenario takes place. Getlink said it will introduce “pit stop” areas for customs controls to take place as well as construct larger parking areas for trucks entering the UK as part of its measures.

The firm, which rebranded in 2017, said it has worked with the French and UK governments to ensure its customers have the “fastest and simplest route” across the Channel, no matter how the UK exits the EU. It said that passengers who use Shuttle and Eurostar trains will see “no change to the immigration formalities” they currently pass through. Getlink said it will be most impacted by the transportation of goods, where a system of “pre-declaration” will be introduced on each side of the Channel, before trucks arrive at the Folkestone and Coquelles terminals respectively.

In order to be ready for potential disruption to the 5,000 trucks which use the Channel Tunnel each day, the company said it is creating “pit stops” in Folkestone and Coquelles which will “regroup all the checks and controls” conducted before boarding.

It said that in the future these checks will enable the scanning of customs documents. Trucks that need to be checked in greater detail by customs officers will move into a new customs and sanitary control zone on the Coquelles terminal, which has nine inspection bays and 100 parking places available for French authorities to check goods. There will also be a 240-space parking zone for trucks heading for the UK to improve congestion.

New customs support jobs are also being created to help drivers get their paperwork in order for the controls.

Last month, Getlink reported slumps in its car and truck traffic for July, blaming political uncertainty and later holiday departures.

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