The government has launched a £200m fund for ports to build new facilities
The fund is targeted at those ports that have the space to build new border infrastructure on their current sites so that they are ready to handle new customs requirements under the new Border Operating Model.
New infrastructure at ports will be needed whether or not the UK secures a negotiated agreement with the EU as we are leaving the Customs Union and Single Market and new procedures will be coming into place.
The funding can be used for a range of vital port infrastructure, from warehouses and control posts to traffic management systems.
Where infrastructure is not best situated at ports, the government has allocated an additional £270m to build inland customs facilities.
The opening of the fund has been welcomed by industry and will see ports accelerate their preparations for the end of the year, as well as give industry confidence that all required infrastructure will be delivered on time.
Preparing for new procedures
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, said: “With just 3 months to go until the end of the UK transition period, businesses need to prepare now for the new procedures that will come into place whether or not we reach a trade agreement with the EU, so that we can seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead.
“We have listened to businesses and the border industry and will continue to work with them to deliver not just a fully operational border at the end of the transition period, but also the world’s most effective and secure border within the next five years.
“The launch of this £200m fund will help us do just that.”
Tim Morris of the UK Major Ports Group, added: “There is significant port capacity around the coast of the UK for handling freight flows to and from the EU.
“Time is short and it is vital that UK businesses prepare for new border arrangements.
“We will work urgently with the Government on the all-important detail and related regulations.”