Government issues ‘no deal’ guidelines for local businesses

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The Gibraltar government has issued guidance for local businesses in case negotiators fail to reach agreement on a UK/EU treaty for Gibraltar.

The advice aims to encourage companies to carefully consider the potential problems that could arise for their operations if negotiations end without an agreement and the transitional arrangements cease to apply.

In a “no deal” scenario, longer border queues can be expected due to Schengen controls, including the systematic scanning and stamping of passports, the government said.

Although detailed traffic management plans have been prepared, these will only serve to mitigate the impact, he added.

“The delays to be expected may disrupt businesses, particularly those employing significant numbers of people across the border or those whose customers are mainly visitors to Gibraltar,” the government said. .

“It is because of this expected disruption that businesses should do everything possible to try to manage, to the extent possible, the difficulties that have been foreseen.”

“For example, it would be prudent for companies to identify staff members who live across the border and consult with them on ways in which employers can facilitate their day-to-day travel management.”

The government has also encouraged the introduction of flexible working hours to alleviate potential delays due to border queues.

With regard to border workers providing essential services, such as health services, the government has plans in place to house a sufficient number of workers to cover key services in the event of an emergency.

Regarding the movement of goods, the only products concerned will be British products of animal origin.

“If coming from the United Kingdom via the customs territory of the EU, these products must, since January 1, 2021, be cleared at the border control post in Algeciras,” the technical notice states.

“Once cleared, consignments are taken to Gibraltar by ferry and unloaded with the help of new port facilities installed last year. The service provided by the ferry is now funded by the private companies that use it.

The government said no further changes were expected in the event of a “no deal” on the movement of goods.

But in the event of a “no deal”, holders of Gibraltar licenses issued to road hauliers and bus and coach operators will no longer have the legal right to operate in Spain or the EU.

Businesses have been urged to prepare by making arrangements for operations within EU territory to be carried out by duly licensed operators.

When it comes to waste from Gibraltar, a “no deal” will still mean that Gibraltar can legally export waste to facilities in Spain, but out of an abundance of caution the government has explored other options.

“It is of fundamental importance for the business community, based on the guidance provided, to prepare for the possibility of a [Non-Negotiated Outcome] NNO,” the government said.

“This will mitigate the effect of no treaty as much as possible. It will clearly be impossible to fully mitigate these effects because in many areas the new situation will simply reflect the new position outside the EU.

The full guidelines published by No.6 Convent Place are available on the Government of Gibraltar website.

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