Parcel courier cites Brexit 'red tape' as reason behind halting EU deliveries

A lorry driver talks to police officers as they patrol along the M20 in Kent where freight traffic i

Lorries queue along the M25 in Kent. - Credit: PA

A global parcel courier has said it has stopped road deliveries from the UK to the EU - including the Republic of Ireland - because of new "red tape" caused by Brexit.

DPD said that as much as 20% of parcels destined for Europe are being returned because as they do not have the correct customs forms required under the EU trade deal.

The delivery conglomerate said it was pausing its road operations to the EU until January 12 after a “challenging few days” following the New Year transition, with teams working round-the-clock to deal with new administrative burdens.

In a message to customers the courier said: "It has now become evident that we have an increased burden with the new, more complex processes, and additional customs data we require from you for your parcels destined to Europe.

“This has placed extra pressure on our turnaround and transit times.

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“We are seeing up to 20% of parcels having incorrect or incomplete data attached, these will have to be returned to you so that the required data can be provided.

“In addition to this we are seeing delays and congestion at UK ports and more rigid requirements for Channel crossings.”

MORE: EU businesses stop UK deliveries due to 'new Brexit measures'

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The announcement comes after Marks & Spencer said “complex administrative processes” caused by Brexit as well as tariffs on some products were “significantly impacting” its business in Ireland, France and the Czech Republic.

Scottish seafood producers have also said there had been a “perfect storm” of administrative burdens following the transition out of the EU on December 31, with queues and rejected paperwork causing “utter confusion”.

MORE: Brexiteer swears after learning levels of red tape to be imposed on Britain after Brexit

Predicted lorry queues at Channel crossings have not appeared since the new rules came into effect, with a spokeswoman for the Port of Dover saying that traffic had been “running smoothly since the end of the post-transition period”.

Hauliers said this was partly due to unusually low volumes of traffic in what would normally be the quietest week of the year, with crossings reduced further by the effects of stockpiling to prepare for Brexit, the pandemic and firms holding back on movements until the new system is implemented.

Road Haulage Association spokesman Paul Mummery said most trucks had cleared customs formalities successfully, however a “significant” proportion were being turned back for having the wrong paperwork, an issue he expected to become clearer as traffic levels pick up in the coming weeks.

He said: “We will see supply chain friction in the coming weeks.

"We don’t expect it to be as visible as the queues we saw in Kent before Christmas, but the impact will be there just the same, in the form of trucks parked up at inland checkpoints or standing idle in the depot waiting for paperwork to be completed before they set off.

"We’re expecting disruption for around six months until the new systems are bedded in.”

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