- Title: 'We are prepared': France rehearses 'no-deal' Brexit customs checks in Calais
- Date: 25th September 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) CUSTOMS OFFICER, MELANIE MARCHAND, SAYING: "Every vehicle will come up to the booth, and we will do the Brexit test in real time with the customs documents. So right now, we're waiting for all the vehicles to arrive." LORRY PARKED BY BOOTH SIGN ON BOOTH READING (English): "THE WORLD'S LEADING FERRY OPERATOR" DRIVER GETTING DOCUMENTS BACK, THANKING CUSTOMS AGENT LORRY LEAVING BOOTH LORRY DRIVING AWAY (SOUNDBITE) (French) HAUTS-DE-FRANCE (NORTHERN FRANCE) INTER-REGIONAL CUSTOMS DIRECTOR, ERIC MEUNIER, SAYING: "What is at stake for the French customs is to recreate a frontier that had disappeared while respecting common rules of entry for both imports and exports, and to ensure maximal fluidity in order to allow international commerce to function normally." LORRIES WAITING IN LINE BY BOOTH (SOUNDBITE) (French) HAUTS-DE-FRANCE (NORTHERN FRANCE) INTER-REGIONAL CUSTOMS DIRECTOR, ERIC MEUNIER, SAYING: "The customs administration is now well prepared, especially on Calais's coastline, first because there already were customs officers there, but also because we strengthened our presence. In the region, there are 270 additional officers to deal with the touristic and commercial influx. So, we are especially well prepared and feel confident." VARIOUS OF CUSTOMS OFFICERS READING DOCUMENTS IN HANGAR CUSTOMS OFFICER COUNTING MERCHANDISE PALLETS IN LORRY VARIOUS OF MERCHANDISE IN LORRY (SOUNDBITE) (French) LORRY DRIVER, DIDIER VERHAEGHE, SAYING: "We are just going 25 years back, although today, it's displayed digitally when before, we used paper. It is not more complicated. It remains as simple as before. But then, at night it might be more complicated." CUSTOMS OFFICER HANDLING DETECTION DOG AROUND TRUCK VARIOUS OF TRUCKS DRIVING TOWARDS PORT
- Embargoed: 9th October 2019 09:11
- Keywords: Brexit France customs checks Calais English Channel Britain lorries "no deal" ferry port
- Location: CALAIS, FRANCE
- City: CALAIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003AY5O47B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hundreds of French customs agents on Tuesday (September 24) conducted in Calais a life-size rehearsal of the measures that could take effect in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit.
Officers inspected customs documents and shipments while lorry drivers arriving from Britain went through screening procedures designed to ensure that the amounts of goods declared matched the quantities aboard the vehicles.
The simulation aims to prevent long tailbacks of lorries on both sides of the border between France and Britain, a hassle that could surface if Britain withdrew from the European Union without a deal by Oct. 31.
The drill comes as France has been holding similar test runs to prepare for a "no-deal" Brexit for several months. French authorities have hired 700 new officers, including 270 officers in the Calais region, and spent 6 million euros to build new infrastructure at the port.
"We are especially well prepared and feel confident," northern France's Customs Director Didier Verhaeghe said.
(Production: Manuel Ausloos, Ardee Napolitano)
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