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6th May 2016, 13:57

Chamber of Commerce welcomes Government complaint to EC over increased frontier checks

The Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the fact that the Government has written to the European Commission highlighting the increase in checks on goods at the frontier. It claims the disproportionate checks experienced over the past weeks have caused many Gibraltar businesses additional delays and increased costs.

The Chamber agrees that checks on a risk assessment basis are part of normal procedures conducted by Customs even between EU member states. But, it says, the checks implemented by the Spanish authorities fall outside any interpretation of randomness. It says the increase in checks began in early March this year and have continued since, with Chamber members asked to keep a log to try and assess if there was a pattern.

The Chamber claims the increased checks have continued without any reason, with the Government now writing formally to the EU Commission to ensure 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 hopes the European Comission will act to uphold the rights of EU citizens living and working in Gibraltar. In the meantime, the Chamber urges all its members who import goods directly or through third parties, to continue keeping a log of any delays caused by the checks.