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IT crash after Brexit at HMRC adds chaos to Kent when P&O ferries resume sailing

Problems with the key post-Brexit IT system for customs inspections are contributing to the Easter traffic chaos in Kent, as thousands of trucks are waiting to cross the English Channel.

The 23-mile section of the M20 was closed from junction 8 (Maidstone) to junction 11 (Westenhanger), which was headed to the port of Dover or the Eurotunnel as part of Operation Brock, which caused chaos on surrounding local roads.

The A20 Roundhill Tunnel is closed under the Dover TAP scheme to prevent trucks from jumping in line.

Some delays in crossing the English Channel are due to the suspension of P&O Ferries after the operator fired nearly 800 sailors without notice last month, and a rival DFDS warns it is no longer able to accept stranded P&O customers.

However, The Road Transport Association told HMRC “Problems continue to arise” with the new post-Brexit GVMS system for customs declarations, without which trucks cannot move goods between the UK and the EU.

Without the system, drivers lack the scanned barcodes needed to quickly check trucks at ports, including Dover.

A temporary workaround may be in effect until Monday RHA said.

A HMRC spokesman said: “We have introduced emergency processes so that businesses can continue to move goods and cargo until we return to full service.”

A message on the HMRC website says: “We are conducting a serious investigation of our systems to address the underlying issues behind this failure. We will announce more information by noon on Monday, April 11. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. “

Operation Brock involves the use of a movable barrier to create a counter-current system that allows trucks to stand in line and other vehicles to continue moving in both directions.

However, the system was overloaded, and Kent has been in long queues every day since April 1, when bad weather also disrupted the transitions.

A statement from the port of Dover said that last weekend they served 30,000 departing passengers, which is three times more than the corresponding weekend in 2021.

He added that he was “waiting for another busy weekend” as he urged customers not to arrive before the booked voyage.

Trevor Bartlett, leader of the Dover County Council, said the port would be under “severe pressure during a busy Easter holiday” if he warned residents to prepare for “some disruptions this weekend”.

He said he had “made it clear” to the Kent Police, the Kent County Council and the Kent Resilience Forum – a partnership of local organizations and agencies – that “we will not allow another weekend deadlock in Dover”.

The Conservative adviser continued: “For too long, locals and businesses have had to suffer failures and, frankly, deserve better.

“We share your concern about the impact of the stalemate on local businesses and access to vital health and social services for our most vulnerable residents.

“Many are rightly concerned about how emergency services will be able to respond to a major incident when all roads to the city are effectively blocked.”

Ashford MP Damian Green has called for changes to Operation Brock.

He told KentOnline, “We need to get Brock to work. We found that it still works even in stressful times because the freeway remains open.

“Once you close the freeway, it will make that impossible, so the Kent Resilience Forum needs to consider what changes need to happen so Brock can handle a very unusual situation where more than half of the truck traffic in Dover takes up at one time.”

P&O Ferries announced on Wednesday that it is preparing to resume sailing across the English Channel.

A spokesman said: “P&O is looking forward to the return of vital services and we expect two of our vessels to be ready to sail on the Dover-Calais route by next week, subject to regulatory signing, namely both Kent’s honor and The spirit of Britain between Dover-Calais ”.

IT crash after Brexit at HMRC adds chaos to Kent when P&O ferries resume sailing

Source link IT crash after Brexit at HMRC adds chaos to Kent when P&O ferries resume sailing

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