The government’s announcement that the UK will remain in the Common Transit Convention has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association.

The CTC is used for moving goods between the EU member states, the EFTA countries, which are Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia.

In an official statement on the website on Monday, Financial Secretary Mel Stride said that the continued membership of the convention would “ensure simplified cross-border trade for UK businesses exporting their goods”.

The statement said: “It will provide cashflow benefits to traders and aid trade flow at key points of entry into the UK, as traders will only have to make customs declarations and pay import duties when they arrive at their final destination.”

This has been welcomed by Pauline Bastidon, Head of European Policy and Brexit, at the FTA. She said: “In the event of no deal, traders making use of the CTC would be able to temporarily suspend the payment of duties and taxes, and to postpone customs clearance formalities until the goods reach their destination, rather than at the point of entry into the customs territory.

This will be particularly attractive for UK businesses exporting into the EU. While it would not remove the need for border checks of a regulatory nature, such as sanitary  phytosanitary checks on agri-food products, the CTC has the potential to reduce checks of a fiscal nature upon entry into the EU.”

She added that it was “vital” UK businesses now ensure all necessary arrangements for use of the convention are made so traders can fully benefit from the facilities offered by the CTC following Brexit.