Friday, April 5, 2019

French Channel Tunnel Operators Prepare for Brexit with New Customs Facilities

Phytosanitary Control Centre Handed Over to the Authorities
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – In January we heard from the Port of Dunkirk how the northern French ports were readying themselves for the seemingly never ending approach of Brexit and now Getlink, the operators of Eurotunnel, have revealed the latest step towards ensuring as smooth a transition as possible, no matter the result of the political shenanigans.

Yesterday Eurotunnel officially handed over buildings intended for customs, veterinary and phytosanitary inspection services, to the French authorities, represented by Fabien Sudry, Prefet of the Pas-de-Calais region. SIVEP is the Service d'Inspection Vétérinaire et Phytosanitaire department of the French Ministry of Agriculture, and the Douane-SIVEP control centre, will be open 24/7 for Ministry of Agriculture officials and customs officers.

The control centre provides nine unloading docks, a refrigerated storage area, 100 parking spaces for trucks waiting for sanitary and phytosanitary controls and 1,000-square-metre offices for the various border services, as well as Eurotunnel staff to direct customers to Registered Customs Representatives operating on behalf of hauliers.

In addition to the control centre Eurotunnel has also created an equine facility and expanded two pit-stop areas for truck processing, two coach halls and two buildings with tax reclaim zones. At the same time, the tunnel authorities unveiled new e-gates with facial recognition in the coach hall, which are currently awaiting official approval, and which are intended to speed up French border police checks.