The operator says passengers using its own Shuttle trains as well as those travelling on Eurostar services between London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam will face the same immigration formalities as they do today. Additional VAT refund services will be provided at Eurotunnel’s terminal in Folkestone and Coquelles near Calais if necessary.

However, the situation for freight will change in the event of a no-deal Brexit as new regulations will be introduced requiring the pre-declaration of freight to customs on each side of the Channel before lorries arrive at the terminals. To cope with this, Eurotunnel has:

  • set up “pit stops” at the British and French terminals to simultaneously process the checks and controls conducted by Eurotunnel for 20 lorries before boarding the trains. Lorries which are passed by customs officials will continue as they do today and the pit stops will also be able to scan customs documents in the future
  • set up a customs and sanitary/phytosanitary control area at Coquelles with nine inspection bays and 100 parking spaces for trucks coming from Britain which customs officials decide require further examination
  • constructed a 240-space parking area at Coquelles for trucks travelling to Britain which need additional checks, and
  • hired customs support staff to help drivers to get their documentation in order.

The Channel Tunnel handles about 26% of the freight traffic moving between Britain and the EU each year which is worth about £130bn.