Release Date: 18 May 2010
Release ID: 4722
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) – www.bifa.org – has welcomed the outbreak of common sense the new government has shown in giving a high priority to the scrapping of the backdated port rates bills.
According to reports in the national media, Conservative spokesman Lord Bates, the former shadow local government minister, has indicated that scrapping the bills would be a key priority of the new coalition government.
According to BIFA Director General, Peter Quantrill, the move signals a welcome break for Britain’s hard-pressed international freight sector.
Mr Quantrill says: “The fact that the new government has pledged to make scrapping this iniquitous demand a high priority means that Westminster has removed the sword of Damocles from some businesses at Britain’s ports and allows them to concentrate on what they want them to do – facilitate Britain’s import and export freight movements.
“These backdated demands threatened businesses in the UK’s ports with retrospective rates bills totalling millions of pounds. Several companies have failed after being presented with these draconian costs and others faced seven-figure sums that threatened to put them out of business.
“This move is a welcome break for some BIFA members and others in the freight sector working tirelessly to bring goods to the UK and take our valuable exports worldwide. As the leading trade association for UK freight forwarders, we are non-political but that does not mean we hold back from praising the government, of any hue, when it works to support the facilitation of international trade.”
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