A permit system for trucks leaving Kent for continental Europe after the EU transition period will be enforced by the DVSA with £300 fines and vehicle impoundings.
The Kent Access Permit (KAP) is expected to significantly reduce the number of unready HGVs reaching Kent from 1 January and reduce pressure on Kent’s roads, the port of Dover and Eurotunnel.
Under proposals consulted on last month, the KAP will support the Smart Freight software, which is intended to be used by companies exporting goods to the continent – but enforcement agencies such as the DVSA and the police will be called upon to enforce the process in an effort to avoid chaos on the roads.
In a Parliamentary response to a question about who would be responsible, transport minister Rachel Maclean MP said that the DfT, HMRC and Defra contractors would confirm if HGV drivers have valid KAPs.
She added: “Fixed penalty notices or financial penalty deposit notices of £300 would be issued by the police or the DVSA if an HGV driver did not have a valid KAP.
“The DVSA would be able to impound vehicles should the driver choose not to pay the fine.”
It is understood that the DVSA is confident it can continue with its enforcement activities across the country while at the same time designating resources to the Brexit processes in Kent and that funding from central government has been applied for to achieve this.
Meanwhile, Logistics UK said it had secured “full commitment” from the government that a fully working iteration of the smart freight operating system will be launched in December.
This followed an announcement 24 hours earlier describing its “crushing disappointment” that it was unlikely to be ready by the end of the year.
In a statement, the association said that following an urgent meeting with Cabinet Office representatives, its concerns had been allayed.
However, it said it remained “concerned that December is too late for the majority of logistics businesses to train staff and implement the system effectively, and will continue to raise the concerns of its members.”
The RHA said it was also concerned that with less than 75 days to go, there was still no clarity regarding its own questions about how the government intended to implement the processes and procedures needed to make border crossings seamless and pain free.
Richard Burnett, RHA chief executive, described a recent meeting with the government as a “washout”.
He said: “I was hopeful that today’s meeting would result in a mutually effective co-operation. Sadly, this hasn’t happened and there is still no clarity regarding the questions that we have raised.
“Although I don’t think we’re quite back at square one, we’re certainly not much further ahead.”
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