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British truck drivers are fined 300 for not having a Kent license

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Trucks in line to enter Dover Port in Kent and check their documentation (SWNS)
Trucks in line to enter Dover Port in Kent and check their documentation (SWNS)

Hundreds of British truck drivers have been fined 300 for not being allowed to enter Kent – a measure taken because of Brexi.

Police have distributed a total of 407 penalties since the new rules came into force when the UK banned being under EU rules on 1 January.

Carriers traveling from all over the UK going to France must obtain a Kent Entry Permit before entering the county so that they can continue their journey through the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel.

The extra red tape has caused controversy and blockages at the border.

Read more: UK records highest daily COVID pandemic deaths at 1,564 in 24 hours

A police officer checks the Covid-19 test documentation of the driver at the entrance to the Port of Dover, southeast England, on January 4, 2021 after Britain left the European Union.  (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP via Getty Images)
Police check driver’s COVID-19 test documentation at the entrance to Dover Port (Getty)

Another 152 HGV drivers were seen violating traffic rules, including trying to overcome the large queuing system for trucks entering the port.

The trucks tried to bypass the collected HGVs – or Operation Brock as it is known – by descending into the M20 stream or using the A20 as an illegal shortcut, police said.

Claire Nix, Kent County Assistant Police Chief, said: “While most HGV drivers traveling to Europe via Dover Port or Eurotunnel are entering the county with a valid Kent Entry Permit, there is still a lot we need to stop, fine and return to their point of origin.

“If this trend continues, then it could lead to traffic disruption here in Kent, where the volume of goods is expected to increase significantly over the coming weeks.

“It remains very important that companies exporting goods through the ports of Kent know exactly what is required of their drivers before they start their journeys, which also currently includes a negative COVID-19 test score taken within 72 hours. of their planned departure to France.

“This test must be taken outside of Kent at one of more than 30 nationwide carrier counseling sites offering them, where drivers can also get free border readiness checks.

Read more: What you can and cannot do according to current blocking rules

HGV drivers now need a Kent Entry Permit if their vehicle is over 7.5 tonnes and leaves the UK.

The permit – which is valid for 24 hours – helps manage traffic by confirming that drivers have the proper documents for EU import controls, Kent Police said.

Assistant Chief of Police Nix said those who obtain a valid permit and a negative COVID-19 test result before entering Kent will be tracked quickly after each turn at the gates.

It was revealed on Tuesday that British ferry passengers had bacon sandwiches and canned sardines confiscated by customs officials in Dutch ports, due to strict rules on imports of meat, fruit, vegetables and fish from outside the EU.

Travel from Britain to the Netherlands has been limited in the first two weeks of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Dutch customs office expects friction to increase as the number of passengers increases.

Look: Dutch border guards catch sandwiches

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