The Association of Freight Forwarders of Portugal (APAT), whose members represent 1 percent of the national GDP, recognizes the Government’s efforts to adopt some of its concerns. However, it points out additional measures needed to deal with the current situation.
At the moment when the country moved to the mitigation state, APAT, which represents 260 international freight transport companies, reiterates the need to adopt measures for the sector, such as clarifying lines of credit for forwarding companies and paying rights with the Tax and Customs Authority (AT); direct injection of capital into companies; joint articulation to get medical equipment from other countries to reach Portugal, opening, for this purpose, air connections on freighters or passenger planes with only cargo.
Specifically on the Transport sector, APAT points out that no specific regulations have yet been issued with the determination of the conditions under which the sector may operate (as is clear from Decree No. 2-A / 2020), namely: definition of screening and organization of international airport terminals; establishment of the concrete terms and conditions in which the transport of goods must occur throughout the national territory.
The forwarding activity gains special relevance for the country today, since it is from which it is possible for countries to have access to the supply of food, basic necessities, medicines, among many other products.
António Nabo Martins, Executive President of APAT, says that “we were caught, perhaps, by the same shock wave as the rest of the world, and we brought to the Government some concerns of the sector that would have repercussions on the lives of the Portuguese”. “We acknowledge the enormous effort that the Government has made and are delighted that we realize that the Government has welcomed the adoption of some of these concerns. We are not presumptuous to the point of thinking that it was just for us, but we want to believe that we have contributed in a very positive way to making that happen ”, he points out.
The simplified layoff and its constant evolution, rents, financial support, the creation of “Green Corridors” for goods (trucks or vehicles up to 3500Kg) at land borders, the facilitation of the transmission of export documents, such as Euro 1 or T2L, are some Government measures that are praised and considered positive by APAT.
“This work is often silent, but very difficult, because we have to try to reconcile all the difficulties, with the greatest assumption of continuing to make all the Portuguese reach everything they need so that this abnormality appears to be‘ normal ’. Sometimes, it is the distance that unites us in favor of a common goal ”, concludes António Nabo Martins.