The need to create new infrastructure since Brexit has not been UK exclusive, with projects elsewhere you may need to get to know.
Inland border facilities (IBFs) have become a fact of UK life, the intention being to relieve congestion at ports. You need to attend an IBF if you are travelling through the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead and:
- You are moving goods under the Common Transit Convention and are not using an authorised consignor.
- Items are being exported on a temporary basis and you are using an ATA carnet to facilitate this.
- Goods are being moved under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
- You have been instructed to report to an IBF, as the goods you are carrying need to be checked there.
There is no requirement to attend an IBF if your vehicle is empty, if you are using ports not on the list, or you are using an authorised consignor. There are also a few other exemptions, such as when carrying livestock.
The days of Kent access permits are behind us but you still need to be ready to roll. Government advice is clear that all relevant permissions and paperwork should be in place before going to the port, or you are likely to be turned back.
If you are coming from the North, or Midlands, there are alternative IBFs at Warrington and Birmingham. Once cleared by them, in most cases you will be able to proceed directly to the port, they can also be used on the return journey.
Getting a coronavirus (Covid-19) test before your journey makes sense. Providing the test is negative, this will avoid delay.
Access to information on and usage of IBFs is at a reasonable level online:
- There is a traffic light system, to see how busy each one is.
- You can let HMRC know in advance that you will be attending.
- An app is available and an IBF account for regular users.
The important thing is to be organised and bear in mind that requirements will change. From February and May 2022, depending on vehicle type, pre-registration of your journey will be obligatory, along with additional documents.
The IBFs are a post Brexit addition but appear to be running reasonably well. There is detailed information on this website for IBF visits related to Dover & Eurotunnel, along with Holyhead’s temporary facilities.
If you are a regular exporter, you may have seen others who thought that turning up and hoping could work. This is not the case, with exports to the EU after Brexit, you really do need to have all in order.
For our clients this includes ATA carnets for the EU, which we ensure are error free. Temporary exports to Europe may now require an extra stage or two but with a sound approach, they are perfectly feasible.