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GHENT/DOVER: January 17, 2018. North Sea Port (NSP) says it is “keeping a close eye on developments” following the decision this week by Britain’s Parliament to reject UK prime minister Theresa May’s post-Brexit solution.

NSP is the result of a merger in December 2017 between Zeeland Seaports and the Ghent Port Company and represents a cross-border area of 60 kilometers from Flushing, Borsele and Terneuzen in the Netherlands to Ghent in Belgium.

The UK is NSP’s second-largest trading partner accounting for 9.0 percent of its total annual volume of 70.3 million tons that includes vehicles, containers, construction materials, chemical products, fertilisers and energy and petroleum products.

North Sea Port“Whether it comes to a Brexit deal or a hard Brexit, North Sea Port has been consulting with the companies who do business with the United Kingdom for quite some time,” said NSP in a statement. “In light of potential issues, preparations are being taken and information exchanged regarding stockpiling, Customs formalities, financial repercussions and the impact on IT.”

On the other side of the Channel, the Port of Dover has reiterated that its preparations for a no-deal Brexit have also been under way for some time.

Kasper Moos, the Dover managing director of ferry company DFDS said: “We have been preparing for a wide range of scenarios along with the port and our partners. We have adapted our IT systems and are building Customs expertise so we can offer Customs and other services to our customers to help mitigate any effect. We are now intensifying work to ensure those customers are preparing for any new border processes in order to protect their business and keep people and goods flowing through this vital trade route.”

With no parliamentary agreement in sight and more UK citizens stockpiling food and other essential items, the port says there has never been “more public scrutiny on trade and the efficient movement of goods”.

Currently Dover handles an average 10,000 trucks day from 120 ferry movements by P&O Ferries and DFDS. To keep the traffic and goods moving the port says it will be essential the UK government and EU Member States ensure the logistics industry receives timely data to prepare the required documentation in advance.

“Throughout the Brexit debate, what people have been desiring is certainty. Uncertainty is continuing, but we are prepared,” declared Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister.

P&O Ferries managing director Short Routes David Stretch added: “We have been working with the authorities on detailed preparations to support our operation at Dover which, along with our ports on the east coast of England, will continue to give customers a range of options for connecting with Europe under every scenario.”

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