The British Ports Association (BPA) has urged the UK Government to ensure a smooth transition to the new cross-border customs arrangements outlined under the Great Repeal Bill, which forms a part of the country's Brexit process.

BPA will also seek to repeal the EU Port Services Regulation, which the association claims is unwanted and unnecessary in the UK’s competitive ports sector.

Additionally, BPA will encourage the government to consider making amendments to the current legislation, which could allow for fast-track planning and consenting at ports in order to help encourage economic growth and trade.

British Ports Association chief executive Richard Ballantyne said: “At the beginning of the historic Brexit negotiations we have been highlighting some of the potential implications of leaving the EU now facing parts of the freight and maritime sector, particularly at 'Roll-on Roll-off' ferry ports that handle HGV traffic.

"Leaving the Customs Union will almost certainly mean that freight carriers moving between the UK and the EU will be required to provide customs declarations."

“Leaving the Customs Union will almost certainly mean that freight carriers moving between the UK and the EU will be required to provide customs declarations, potentially leading to congestion at ports.

“It is vital that the new customs arrangements are non-disruptive and in place in time to ensure that important parts of the freight and ports industry is not faced with a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit scenario.”

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The Great Repeal Bill was previously known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and intends to repeal the European Communities Act 1972, while converting all the current EU legislation into British law.

The new laws will then be subject to amendment and by the UK Parliament at a later date.

However, the government is yet to make its intentions public with regards to the implementation of future revisions after the Brexit process is complete.