Chamber border alert prompts EU complaint
The Chamber of Commerce has backed the action taken by the Gibraltar Government in response to a recent sharp increase in checks conducted by Spanish authorities on goods vehicles bringing supplies into Gibraltar.
In a statement the Chamber said the increased checks have continued without any reason.
It therefore backs the action taken by the Government in writing to the European Commission to ensure that the Spanish Government fulfils its obligations as an EU Member State.
The Chamber highlighted how these ‘disproportionate checks’ have caused many Gibraltar businesses additional delays and increased costs as Spanish customs authorities insist on conducting inspections on the contents of trucks coming into Gibraltar.
Random checks on a risk assessment basis are part of the normal procedures conducted by customs officials even between EU member states.
“However, the checks which have been implemented by Spanish authorities fall outside any interpretation of randomness,” the statement read.
The increase in checks was instigated without warning sometime in early March this year.
The Chamber asked a number of its members who were affected to keep a log of the extent and nature of these checks to assess if there was a pattern. These logs were collated in co-ordination with the Chamber and the Government.
“The increased checks have continued without any reason and the Government has now written formally to the EU Commission to ensure that the Spanish Government fulfils its obligations as an EU Member State, particularly with regard to the requirement to maintain a proper balance between customs controls and the facilitation of legitimate trade.”
The Chamber said it fully supports the Government of Gibraltar’s position and hopes that the European Commission will act to uphold the rights of EU citizens living and working in Gibraltar.
“In the meantime, the Chamber urges all of its members who import goods directly or via third parties to continue keep a log of any delays caused by these checks.”