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Customs checks at Dover would take eight hours per lorry if government plans for a no-deal Brexit were followed, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

Speaking at a special summit in France, chief executive Richard Burnett explained the arithmetic behind a proposed 40-field declaration form.

“The form takes 10 minutes to fill out. If you take a large retailer who has 8,000 consignments [in one lorry], that would take 170 people eight hours to process one trailer. That is the worst case scenario. But even if you took the average trailer which has 400 consignments per delivery, that would take nine people eight hours to process.”

The summit was organised by Xavier Bertrand, former French minister and the president of the Hauts-de-France region, which includes Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dunkirk. Bertrand called the meeting as a matter of urgency to discuss France's own plans for the border.

A spokesperson for the HMRC said customs declarations would be submitted before transit: “HMRC will continue to work closely with industry to ensure interventions are carried out in a way that minimise delays and additional burdens for legitimate trade, while robustly ensuring compliance.”

An earlier survey of supply chain managers by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) revealed that customs delays of just 30 minutes could bankrupt one in ten firms.

Source: The Guardian

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