UK negotiates place in EU Common Transit Convention

The government has confirmed that the UK will become a member of the Common Transit Convention as soon as Brexit has taken place.

The UK is currently a part of the Convention as part of its EU membership but has negotiated membership for as soon as it departs as part of Brexit talks. It applies to any new trading relationship with the EU as well as the event of a ‘hard Brexit’ as may happen should Parliament refuse the current negotiated document.

The CTC is used for moving goods between the EU member states, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia.

The move was welcomed by the Freight Transport Association. Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy and Brexit, said: “In the event of no deal, traders making use of the CTC would be able to temporarily suspend the payment of duties and taxes, and to postpone customs clearance formalities until the goods reach their destination, rather than at the point of entry into the customs territory. This will be particularly attractive for UK businesses exporting into the EU.

“While it would not remove the need for border checks of a regulatory nature (such as sanitary & phytosanitary checks on agri-food products), the CTC has the potential to reduce checks of a fiscal nature upon entry into the EU. What is now vital for UK business is to ensure that all necessary arrangements for use of the convention are made so that, from 30 March 2019, traders may fully benefit from the facilities offered by the CTC.”