London - The British Ports Association has issued its annual New Year’s message picking out some expected highlights for UK port authorities and operators in 2020. Whilst the terms of the Brexit deal will no doubt continue to dominate, the BPA – the national association for ports, harbours and terminals – is keen to influence the new UK Government and policy makers around the UK in a range of important areas.
“2020 could be a pivotal year for ports. The passed the EU Withdrawal Agreement will see the UK diverging from European customs rules meaning new border controls for freight operators," said the association's chief executive, Richard Ballantyne. "This will be a major challenge for parts of the UK logistics sector including those on the Irish Sea, so working with the Government to ensure additional costs and delays are kept to a minimum will be central to our discussions with officials. There will of course be potential opportunities to influence the expected deregulation drive which may include shaping any new infrastructure and fisheries funding, as well as State Aid rules and port service regulations."
"We also expect the Government to press ahead with a Free Ports policy so encouraging an inclusive port zoning strategy, looking at how ports of all type and location will feature in national and regional growth strategies will be central," said Ballantyne. "Separately working with the UK Government and devolved administrations, as well as implementing some of the previously considered strategies such as Maritime 2050 in England and others in the rest of the UK, will be key themes for the BPA this year.”