Robert Hardy, director, Oakland International

With Brexit hanging in the balance and the prospect of no deal remaining very real, it would be sensible to plan for such. There is always talk of delays at Calais but we do not subscribe to this negative way of thinking as UK customs have no intention of delaying imports into the UK, but they do need your help!

Rumours of possible friction at the border is possible but also it is very easy to avoid. Perceived delays at Calais in a no-deal scenario will largely be self-imposed, and if you fail to prepare then you will encounter friction. Worse still, you will cause friction for others.

If you ensure all paperwork is in order and pre-lodged, there really should be no undue delay. Your only challenge being the potential unprepared haulier in front of you.

So, how do you avoid this? Educate, communicate with others and cooperate. Once you know the solution isn’t it better that you communicate this information with your competitors, as if you don’t, they may just get in your way!

It’s essential that you have your EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number before March 2019, as you will need to submit it for safety and security declarations, as without an EORI number there is the real potential that you will not be able to ship. EORI is quick and easy to obtain and normally only takes two or three days to come through.

Can I also suggest that you might want to consider the Customs simplifications, such as CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures), but if you do nothing else please get your EORI number!