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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

EU enables remote customs clearances - no hard borders - in Austria

You will have missed it - it's slipped right off the main news radar - but the EU is just enabling all customs clearances and taxes for all goods entering and leaving the EU through the Italian port of Trieste to be paid, accounted and administered in the small Austrian town of Fürnitz, some 200km away. Yes, that's right. Trieste customs will now be based in Austria. 

During the pilot phase, the organisers wrote
Trieste has a harbor with a space problem due to the narrow coastal area towards the city. Fürnitz is ideally located at the junction of the Baltic-Adriatic axis (Gdansk-Warsaw-Vienna-Villach-Trieste-Venice-Bologna) and the Tauern axis (Munich-Salzburg-Villach-Ljubljana-Zagreb-Belgrade-Sofia-Istanbul). In order to prevent delays in customs clearance and to reduce the burden on the environment, the Interreg project Smartlogi now wants to work on new forms of intelligent logistics, which should, among other things, enable a cross-border customs corridor.

The port of Trieste has a great interest in passing on goods as quickly as possible, since the area is limited by the nearby city of Trieste. Inevitably, loads are loaded onto trucks and transported across the streets. Numerous administrative and technological challenges currently prevent a so-called "modal shift" (shifting traffic from one mode of transport to the other) from road to rail.

In the Smartlogi project, the LCA in Fürnitz, which is perfectly connected to the various main traffic routes, would like to develop into a close cooperation partner of the Port of Trieste. The project is being funded with a total volume of approx. 1.3 million euros from the Interreg program Austria-Italy. In addition, the equity shares of the Carinthian project partners are being co-financed by the Carinthian Economic Development Fund (KWF).
'Intelligent logistics' and 'customs corridors' mean that borders don't actually have to be located at borders, and that queues of trucks and containers can easily be avoided with advance clearances, computer tracking and so on - so that customs clearances are just an information exchange formality, rather than the physical impounding and holding of objects and vehicles at ports and border crossings. 

ORF reported yesterday
Great opportunity for Fürnitz

This is definitely a great opportunity for Fürnitz, said economic officer Ulrich Zafoschnig (ÖVP). He had received information from the Ministry of Finance that the necessary intergovernmental agreements should be made in September. Theoretically, customs clearance in Fürnitz could start this year, according to Zafoschnig.
If this can be done for Trieste, why not for Ireland? Why can't Ireland's custom clearance point be in Calais, or Hamburg even? Why shouldn't there be a customs corridor from Dublin to Dover?

I rather think this proves that the Irish Border Issue isn't actually an issue. I wonder if anyone's told Mr Robbins that he doesn't have to surrender the UK's sovereignty to Brussels after all?


DeeDee99 said...

Thanks you Raedwald.

We won't hear a word about this on the BBC, Sky, C4 or in the MSM.

DiscoveredJoys said...

The border with Ireland was never an issue. The EU used it as a political ploy to disrupt the likelihood of an EU/UK deal and the risk of a competitor on their doorstep. Had the rEU been keen on striking a deal then any 'difficulties with the border' would have been glossed over for the greater good of ever closer union (for the rEU).

I'm glad to say that (outside the Chequers offer) the EU attitude over the UK/Ireland border has backfired and I rather suspect some virtual border arrangement will be nodded through rather than give up on the offered 'divorce' payment. For the greater good, of course.

Tony Harrison said...

Robbins and his ilk want to surrender our sovereignty to Brussels anyway: they don't feel the need for any substantive reason beyond the fact that the EU represents a very much bigger bureaucratic empire in which top fonctionnaires can prosper. For them, Brussels is Whitehall with knobs on, plus croissants.

Bill Quango MP said...

I wonder if anyone's told Mr Robbins that he doesn't have to surrender the UK's sovereignty to Brussels after all?

Too Late!

Anonymous said...

I hope that the spiteful way we have been dealt with by the EU backfires on them. They have done this just in case another country has the cheek to try and break free of this socialist superstate.

Anonymous said...

Not able to find the reference supporting this assertion. Would be interested to learn more. Kindly advise.

"...EU is just enabling all customs clearances and taxes for all goods entering and leaving the EU through the Italian port of Trieste …"

Also, any information on treatment for non-tariff factors would be useful.

jack ketch said...

As far as I know, both Italy and Austria are still members of the Customs Union or has that changed since I last looked? The problem with the Eire/UK border is that one side will no longer be in the customs union and therefore, under the current laws cannot function in as a 'zollabfertigung' (not a new idea in Germany...since before Bismarck if I recall aright..right back to the Hansa ?).

Budgie said...

Raedwald said: "If this can be done for Trieste, why not for Ireland?" Of course it can be done. Trusted traders, bonded warehouses, online submission of documentation, and intelligence led inspections are perfectly normal nowadays. That's not the point. The EU (and Theresa May and Olly Robbins) don't want it done.

Parliament gave us the decision to make. They really really don't like that we opted for the outcome of Leave. So they're just ignoring us. The rotten Remains are festering away hoping that we Leaves will die off so they can elect another people to accede to their bidding (as Brecht might have said).

John Vasc said...

@jack ketch - Trieste is a Free Port, governed by the 1947 Treaty of Paris, and outside the customs area of the state of Italy.
Goods reaching Trieste from inside the EU are considered to be already exported.