Rotterdam port not ready for Brexit; Customs, businesses unprepared

800px-Hyundai_Bangkok_p2_approaching_Port_of_Rotterdam,_Holland_19-Apr-2007
A container ship arriving at the Rotterdam Port (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/AlfvanBeem). A container ship arriving at the Rotterdam Port (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/AlfvanBeem)

The port of Rotterdam is unprepared for the upcoming Brexit, and concerns are rising among port companies, Rotterdam entrepreneurs told the Financieele Dagblad.

The biggest problem is a lack of urgency, from the government and other involved authorities like Customs and food and consumer product safety authority ACM, Bas Janssen, director of Rotterdam business organization Deltalinqs, said to the newspaper. "But also from the entrepreneurs themselves. A lot is going to happen when the hard landing that is now expected happens."

Customs plans to hire 50 extra officers in the port of Rotterdam, but that is far from enough, Janssen said. "If you look at studies that have taken place recently, the expectation is that the work will increase by about 20 percent. If you consider that the total population at Customs is now around 4,500, then a simple sum shows that between 500 and 1,000 new employees are needed."

Janssen thinks the Netherlands should do more as EU member state to get clarity about how the British will act after the Brexit. "We are now negotiating with the British about how much money must be paid. After that we have to start looking carefully at how we will deal with each other. We should already be looking at that. If that doesn't come from the EU, then you as member state have to do it yourself. I think the Netherlands should better prepare itself for this."

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