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DUNKERQUE: October 05, 2018. Norlink Ports, an association of 25 ports and inland gateways in the northern Hauts-de-France region, is planning measures to reduce the commercial impact of Britain leaving the European Union without a trade agreement.

The move follows a rejection of a Brexit idea that would have given preference to Benelux ports in cross-Channel trade rather than those of northern Franc, according to Norlink.

Norlink PortsThis week French minister for Action & Public Accounts Gerald Darmanin announced his government would set up a new Customs office in Calais which, together with Dunkerque, is expected to be staffed by 200 Customs personnel to manage any clearance delays of truck traffic on ferries to and from the UK.

'We prefer to consider the worst scenario to be certain to ensure fluidity,” commented Stéphane Raison, Dunkerque-Port chief executive. Some 70 percent of trade to and from Great Britain is by road, crossing the strait either by sea to Calais or Dunkerque or by the Tunnel.”

“This is why the ports have put in place a refurbishment infrastructure, especially in terms of parking, sheds, buildings to accommodate the new control services,” Raison added.

Norlink Ports says it will continue to broadcast its plans to customers in order to ensure a post-Brexit success with the goal of making the group “the port and logistics hub of North-West Europe”.

Association president Bruno Fontaine declared: “We are thinking about the 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 promote the logistics facilities of four sea ports, Eurotunnel/Getlink and 20 inland ports in the Hauts-de-France region.

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