Ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit on October 31, the Port of Gothenburg has warned importers and exporters to ensure their goods are ready for customs clearance, otherwise face significant delays.
Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive, stated: “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.
“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.”
The port stated that a ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ Brexit does not matter as the UK will be classified 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, noted the port.
Dzanic added: “We don’t believe there will be queues at the terminal gates. If there are problems, they will occur earlier in the system – at the main Port Entry gate for example – where we need to be prepared.
“As a contingency, we have identified a number of areas in the vicinity of the port where trucks may need to be temporarily parked pending clearance.”
The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region with 30% of Swedish foreign trade passing through it as well as half of all container traffic.