Release Date:
Release ID: 4332

Freight forwarders win reprieve over consignment information

The Home Office and UK Border Agency (UKBA) has informed the British International Freight Association (BIFA) that the consignment information that could be required by the police under the powers provided for in Section 33 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality (Ian) Act 2006, which enable them to request freight data on both third country and intra-EU shipments, will not be required on a routine basis.

The decision follows a period of consultation between government and industry representatives stretching back to spring 2005, in which BIFA played a leading role. It provides an example of government listening to business, removing as it does what would otherwise have proved a burdensome imposition on Britain’s international trade competitiveness of questionable practical security value.

Throughout the lengthy consultation period prior to the Bill becoming law, BIFA questioned the Home Office intentions for routine provision of freight data across all modes on the grounds of compatibility with EU law, security effectiveness, likely economic impact and practicality. BIFA commends the Home Office for its change direction in this matter.

Comments Peter Quantrill, BIFA Director General: “The implementing Order of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality (IAN) Act 2006 could have imposed a new routine reporting requirement relating to the provision of consignment data for national security purposes regarding intra-EU movements. This would have had an adverse impact on British business and resulted in the diversion of transit and transhipment cargo away from British ports and airports. Effectively it would have meant the return of border controls for EU traffic and a rolling back of the Single Market.

“BIFA has been seeking to limit the impact on its members, of the requirements to provide freight information, over and above what is currently required for customs purposes. Now that that the Home Office has confirmed that agreed consignment data will not be sought and collected as a matter of course, we would appear to have achieved our goal.”
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