5 Brexit Concerns for UK Logistics and Customs
The UK Freight Transport Association recently spoke to Lloyds Loading List outlining their concerns about the lack of engagement between the government and logistics/Customs sector as Brexit looms.
We take a look at the 5 key areas raised by FTA members :-
1 – Customs systems & procedures must be in place.
HMRC are already working on a replacement of the ageing CHIEF system, CDS is due in early 2019. We wrote about CDS concerns here https://goo.gl/CfUdix. FTA members rightly flag up the need for 300 million additional Customs declarations to cope with existing intra-European movements likely under Brexit. CDS may not be ready full stop, let alone be capable of handling the additional fall-out from Brexit. Right now the HMRC CDS project is borderline (excuse the pun) deliverable early 2019, add to that no one knows yet what additional processing CDS will need to perform post Brexit. We see the systems changes and timing as one of the most critical issue for the logistics sector. If the government get this wrong cross-channel supply chains will grind to a halt in 2019.
2 – Business needs time to adapt to new EU declaration systems.
Established traders know they have some preparation to do as Brexit gets closer to ensure their Customs processes are ready. Even this cohort of traders, familiar with Customs declarations, will need to invest, use their expertise, time and effort to understand and react to the changes. They will need to get their IT systems re-purposed and business processes adapted. The greater challenge may come for the group of 170,000 traders who today have no Customs interaction as they trade with Europe only. Right now most of this group are blind to the possibilities of what may happen and the complexities. They will need software, trained people and HMRC support to keep their goods moving. UK business is adaptable and the best will always find a way. The sooner the Customs requirements are made public the better for UK plc, meanwhile traders need to step up, fully understand their potential exposure and seek advice in good time.
3 – Intra-EU border delays.
HMRC along with UK industry will come up with Brexit solutions at the border crossing even if it’s at the eleventh hour. British exports will flow, traders will adapt, systems will stablise. However, there are valid concerns about the ability of Customs authorities across the EU particularly in The Netherlands, France, and Belgium to ensure their ports can support Brexit. EU traders and the major ports in the EU will need to cope with new requirements for Export declarations to the UK. Each countries’ Customs authorities and port operators need to address all of the same issues in this article for themselves otherwise EU goods coming to the UK will be delayed. Do they know what will be needed post-Brexit? Will EU goods bound for the UK enjoy the same smooth passage as today – it depends on the actions taken in Europe. Traders need to take into account the impact of action, or non-action on the other side of the Channel as well as in the UK. (continued page 2…)