EU customs checks 'being prepared for UK ports'

Brexit | | MIC Customs Solutions |

A news report suggests there will be EU border checks at British ports including Liverpool.

The BBC claims it has learned the shipping industry is preparing plans for European Union border checks in Britain on goods that are travelling to Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

It states Liverpool and Stranraer could be used as ports through which to divert freight, since they already have space for inspections. The Port of Liverpool also has Border Inspection Points in place for its exports outside the EU.

As per the details of the new Brexit withdrawal deal, customs staff at the ports may include EU representatives, while there is also a proposal for 'pop-up labs' at which to carry out tests such as health-related verifications on foodstuffs being exported.

According to the BBC News website, the EU was keen for the customs checks to be carried out in Britain in case particular products are not compliant with EU single market rules and need to be returned.

The exact nature of the upcoming border checks will depend on the Brexit deal and how close Britain remains to the EU. It is also hoped automated technology will help to deal with some of the logistical burden caused by the additional checks.

This news comes despite previous claims by UK prime minister Boris Johnson that there will not be any checks on goods going from Britain to Northern Ireland and that only products destined for the EU would face checks.

However, industry experts have always said that even this would result in further verification on traded products.

Speaking to Sky News this week, Mr Johnson said: "There's no question of there being checks on goods going NI-GB [Northern Ireland to Great Britain] or GB-NI" because they are part of "the same customs territory".

However, he added that in order to prevent a hard border: "The only checks that there would be, would be if something was coming from GB via Northern Ireland and was going on to the Republic."