The logistics industry is calling for urgent action to prepare for a no-deal Brexit after the government confirmed this week that there will be trade barriers post-Brexit for both exports and imports.

Speaking at a Cabinet Office event entitled Preparing Our Border for the Future Relationship, Michael Gove - the cabinet minister in charge of Brexit arrangements - told delegates there will be checks on food and animal products at the border and a need for customs declarations and safety and security certificates on all imports.

He added that firms that trade with Europe need to prepare for “significant change” with “inevitable” border checks for “almost everybody".

This is the first time government has confirmed there will be trade barriers post-Brexit.

RHA chief Richard Burnett called for urgent action from government to ensure the flow of goods across the borders and urged Gove to ensure government departments to follow a six point plan.

The plan calls for departments to:

• Produce clear guidance on how the whole end-to-end journey will operate

• Open and authorise new and substantial customs facilities for transit

• Introduce a consolidated and simplified import safety & security declaration system

• Launch emergency and free online customs training for traders

• Make lorry holding facilities such as Operation Brock fit for purpose

• Abolish the 22% tariff on new trucks

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Burnett added: “We need to focus on the immediate action required for our industry to be prepared... the priority is very simple – to maximise the number of freight vehicles that can cross the border quickly to ensure the supply chain everyone is reliant upon can continue."

Elizabeth de Jong, FTA’s UK policy director said Gove had provided “much-needed clarity for logistics operators” and said his insistence there will be no extension to the transition period was welcome as it gives businesses a clear deadline to work towards.

But she warned: “As representatives of the logistics industry, we are naturally disappointed that the promise of frictionless trade has been replaced with a promise that trade will be as seamless as possible but not until 2025, with a more realistic but costly “make do and mend” approach to be employed until then.

“Industry will need the support of government during this period to keep Britain trading effectively.”