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Customs and Border Arrangements to Keep Britain Trading After Brexit

  • The UK’s Freight Transport Association spells out priorities that need to be addressed.

  • Will trade agreements with foreign countries create „hundreds of thousands“ of UK jobs?

  • The impact could prove costly from manufacturer to transport carrier all the way to the UK consumer.

How should the UK exit the EU? It’s a question that’s on many people’s minds. Hard or Soft Brexit, there’s pros and cons for each, but one thing is for sure, the relationship between the UK and its largest trading partner, the EU, will forever change and will affect every import and export for each region.

FTA Spells Out Priorities

The UK’s Freight Transport Association has set out five customs and border priorities that need to be addressed. Included are:

  • Customs systems must be scaled up to cope with the additional 300 million declarations by 2019
  • Shippers and forwarders with no experience of EU customs declarations for the past 24 years must be allowed time to familiarize themselves with the process
  • Other EU countries must put in place reciprocal arrangements to prevent delays at all borders, not just those into and out of the UK
  • Advanced digital customs declarations must be enabled to prevent physical checks at borders
  • The process must be phased in with no ‘cliff edge’ – transport operators’ systems are already stretched and will not cope

Will the UK Really Benefit?

According to various studies, leaving the EU’s customs union and signing trade agreements with just eight foreign countries will create “hundreds of thousands” of jobs in manufacturing and service industries. However, these jobs might come at the expense of any consumer as they will have  to pay more for items in order to support higher wage costs. Additionally, it might even drive companies into more automation which will in part negate job growth.

“We can then take our place as one of the global champions of free trade.” – Lord Jones of Birmingham

Truth or lofty boast, the UK’s future trade aspirations will likely continue to depend on the EU. Even though exports of goods have steadily declined to the EU, EU goods exports to the UK remain high. Furthermore, the UK’s services exports is reliant on the EU with £ 88.90 billion in export services to the EU versus  £ 136.6 billion elsewhere.

Cost Impact

In two years, the UK’s relationship with the EU will change forever and with it, customs requirements will follow suit. It is highly likely costs – transportation, storage, customs-related and additional taxes – will all increase as the UK looks to divorce itself from the EU. The impact will be felt in not only the EU and the UK but the rest of the world that trades with UK as well.

As such, shippers and logistics providers alike will need to stay abreast of changes and work together in order to avoid delays.

customs and border priorities after Brexit

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