United Kingdom to join the Common Transit Convention

The Port of Dover handles around 20% of the UK’s trade, making it essential that traffic flows freely through the port. Credit Kelvin Atkins

The United Kingdom has agreed to sign up to the Common Transit Convention which allows freight to transit nation states without incurring multiple border charges.

Britain had membership of the convention as a member of the European Union, but its withdrawal from the Europe Union would see that membership lapse. However, the convention will allow border checks to be performed away from the port, thus allowing for the flow of trade to run more smoothly.

In a statement, the British Government said: “Membership of the CTC, and its supplementary convention the Convention on the Simplification of Formalities in the Trade of Goods, reduces administrative burdens on traders by removing the need for additional import/export declarations when transiting across multiple customs territories.”

Members of the convention pay duties only on arrival at the cargo’s final destination, the government’s statement said, while “countries who are not in the Convention would have to pay each time their goods crossed a border.”

Industry has welcomed the news with the Port of Dover’s Director of Corporate Development and Operational Businesses, Barbara Buczek, explaining that Dover had campaigned for the country to join the convention as it recognised the benefits for both the port and its customers, whether there was an agreed European Union withdrawal deal or not.

Buczek added,As a convention which has the European Union as an existing member and one which requires such members to agree to any new requests to join, this is a positive sign that both sides do indeed recognise that there is no alternative to keeping this vital trade artery flowing.  This is a welcome and reassuring development for our customers and the logistics industry.”

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Nick Savvides, Staff Writer

Nick came to FreightWaves in December 2018 from Fairplay, a shipping market publication. He covers the shipping, freight and logistics industry in Europe. Since starting his career as a journalist in 1990, Nick has worked for a number of significant freight publications abroad, including International Freighting Weekly, the online news service for Containerisation International, ICIS, the chemical industry reporting service, as well as Seatrade in Greece. Nick also worked as a freelance journalist writing for Lloyd’s List, The Observer, The Express and The European newspapers among others before joining Seatrade Newsweek in Athens.