Mathias Maedge revealed that the IRU has information from British carriers claiming to carry 20 percent of pre-Brexit volume. This state of affairs is blamed on Brexit and customs controls on the EU side, which can extend the delivery time of goods by 6-8 hours.
It is worth noting that while customs controls were introduced on the EU side of the border, the British extended the transition period until the end of March. Customs checks on the British border will take place on April 1. The director of the IRU believes that the real problems of Great Britain will only begin then.
Maedge told the BBC that the British did not realize that "they are in for a catastrophe because the UK is a small exporter but a big importer." April 1 is an important day from the point of view of food exporters to Great Britain. This is the day when the transitional period for agri-food products ends and exporters will have to present sanitary and export certificates.
The British government has been criticized for insufficiently informing EU companies exporting to the Islands about customs obligations, which will enter into force on April 1 and subsequent - July 1. If, as a result of the introduction of border controls, carriers traveling across the English Channel face similar delays as those currently traveling from the UK, there may indeed be a temporary shortage of some goods in the Kingdom.
Let us recall that in 2020 Great Britain was the third largest export market for Poland. In terms of the structure of Polish exports to the United Kingdom, the combined category of live animals and food products was the second largest group of products in 2020.
In addition, IRU also criticizes EU countries for requiring drivers returning from the UK to show a negative COVID-19 test. IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto stated that drivers are alone in their cabins and are subject to strict sanitary requirements, so the risk of transmission of the virus is low. He added that it is dangerous to tell drivers to stand for hours in sub-zero temperatures, without keeping an appropriate distance, while waiting for the coronavirus test to be performed.