Gothenburg Port Addresses Post-Brexit Challenges

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 8, 2019

Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive. Photo: Port of Gothenburg

Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive. Photo: Port of Gothenburg

It is now only weeks left until the UK leaves the EU. According to the current timetable, this will take place on 31 October. The question of Brexit is raised in the Port of Gothenburg.

Although the road leading to this point has been long and at times rocky, the date of the UK's withdrawal from the EU is approaching relentlessly. A 'soft' or 'hard' Brexit does not matter – the UK will be classed as a ‘third country’ in relation to EU countries such as Sweden, as it will be outside the single market.

 In its dealings with the UK, the EU will accordingly apply third-country regulations in areas such as tariffs, customs controls, and verification of compliance with EU rules governing the nature and quality of goods.

“The exporter must ensure its goods are ready for clearance through customs before they reach the Port of Gothenburg and our terminals. That is the message we are sending out to the market. If an exporter does not have everything in place, they won’t get in to the port. The same principle applies to imports from the UK – goods that are not ready for clearance before they are shipped to Sweden risk getting stuck at our terminals,” said Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive.

The fact that Brexit will eventually materialize will come as no surprise to anyone, least so among those who transport goods to and from the United Kingdom. But Elvir Dzanic appreciates that it could still be difficult for some companies to take the right measures in time.

“My view is that the major players are well prepared. It is generally the smaller enterprises that do not have the administrative capacity of the large freight owners and freight forwarders. Having said that, I still stand by what I said earlier. Do not turn up at the Port of Gothenburg without having all your customs documents in order.”

And it is not just companies dealing with the UK who are worried about Brexit. Other companies that use the port are wondering how potential queues at the gates will affect those using the port other than for trade with the UK.

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