Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Five Year 70 Million Pound Deal to Provide Logistics Supporting UK Customs Inspections

Big HMRC Win for Wincanton
Shipping News Feature
UK – Wincanton, a company traditionally associated more with the road haulage element of the trade, has been selected by HMRC to provide logistics services to support air and sea freight inspections. The five-year agreement, worth in the region of £71 million, will see Wincanton work together with HMRC to check inbound shipments into the UK, operating two newly established Inland Pre-Clearance sites with associated transport.

HMRC and Border Force is to undertake targeted checks inland, which help prevent misdeclared goods from flowing into the country. Carrying out these checks inland is a proportionate measure to avoid congestion at ports. The overwhelming majority of imports into the UK are not required to go through inland pre-clearance. Adrian Colman, CEO at Wincanton, commented:

"HMRC had a number of specific requirements for suppliers to this contract; from general haulage and container transport experience through to the ability to provide secure, flexible warehousing and an industry leading safety record. The key to our approach is the ability to integrate and deliver all aspects through a single management team. This was a clear differentiator for us. We are delighted to have won this contract with HMRC."

HMRC has moved its inland pre-clearance operations from previous sites at Heathrow and Bicester to the new purpose-equipped sites at Hayes and Milton Keynes. The new locations were chosen to balance:
  • routes to ports for consignments
  • cost, quality and facilities of sites
  • availability of suitable premises

HMRC says it has worked closely with Border Force and external estate professionals to determine the appropriate sites within these criteria. This is part of HMRC’s wider, ongoing approach to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud at all levels to ensure everyone pays the right tax at the right time.

Whether the freight forwarding community will see centres located as they are to be an adequate solution to, what is as its stands, an incalculable set of circumstances, remains to be seen.