French ports planning for ‘No-Deal’ Brexit

Northern France port and inland gateway association Norlink Ports has said that it is preparing to reduce the commercial impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Norlink Association president Bruno Fontaine said that Norlink Ports was considering a formation of companies responsible for the transit of goods and the establishment of the Cargo Community System (CCS) for the ports of Hauts-de-France and [French] Customs.

Norlink Ports works with four sea ports, Eurotunnel/Getlink and 20 inland ports in the Hauts-de-France region.

French minister for Action & Public Accounts Gerald Darmanin recently announced that France would set up a new Customs office in Calais which, together with Dunkirk, was expected to be staffed by 200 Customs workers to manage potential clearance delays of truck traffic on ferries.

‘We prefer to consider the worst scenario to be certain to ensure fluidity,” said Stéphane Raison, Dunkerque-Port chief executive. About 70% of trade to and from the UK is by road, crossing the strait either by sea to Calais or Dunkirk or via the Channel Tunnel.