Government urged to “get the job done” on post-Brexit border arrangements

Added: 06 August 2020

Logistics UK, previously known at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) say that they welcome the statement made by Michael Gove MP on July 13 about post-Brexit border arrangements but urge the government to get the job done now.

FTA’s Head of International Policy Alex Veitch said: “We are advising our members to do all they can to get Brexit ready, for example adapting their systems to produce the right border documentation, working with customers to understand the requirements for each party in the supply chain, and enrolling in trusted trader schemes like CTC Transit. These will all be needed whether or not the UK government strikes a deal with the EU.”

“However, logistics businesses are also urging the government to continue pursuing a deal with their EU counterparts as an urgent priority. This will make it simpler to trade, ensure trucks and planes from the UK have access to the EU, and minimise economic disruption. Logistics is committed to making the new relationship with the EU work – we now need government to do the same and strike a deal.”

In his statement, Michael Gove announced: “We are releasing, for the first time, an operating model for the border that will benefit importers and exporters, and provide information to hauliers, shippers, freight companies and our customs intermediaries.”

The UK’s New Start Let’s Get Going campaign “will be supplemented by the deployment of experts in the field giving one-to-one support to business and their supply chains, to ensure they have made arrangements that will help keep their operations running efficiently.”

From January 2021 – to fulfil the import process – traders will need to have:

• A GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification - or EORI number before moving their goods.

• They’ll also need to have the commodity Code of their goods – which will be needed to make a customs declaration and of course to calculate duties on an import.

• They’ll need to know the customs value of their goods – the rules for which are based on the WTO valuation agreement.

• And they will also need to have considered whether they are able to, and would benefit from, using any of the available simplifications or facilitations, including deferring customs declarations for standard goods.

Traders who choose not to defer their customs declarations will also need to ensure they have considered how they will make those declarations to HMRC systems, and of course whether or not they will use an intermediary.

And from January 2021, traders who are exporting goods to the EU will need to make export declarations and ensure they have the right certificates and licences required for entry.

Michael Gove’s full statement can be seen here.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) have expressed strong concern about the amount of work still to be done.

While the UK has announced that it will not be introducing complete customs checks on goods arriving from the EU, Michel Barnier, EU Brexit negotiator has confirmed that from 1 January 2021, every UK product imported into the EU will face checks, regardless of whether or not a trade deal is reached.

He also said that the EU has hired and trained hundreds of additional customs agents to handle the additional customs paperwork which will be generated. By contrast, the UK government is still a long way from their stated target of having 50,000 additional customs agents trained up by 31 December 2020.”

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett commented: "The UK is very slow off the starting blocks on hiring thousands of staff to do this vital work. If we don’t tackle this fast, it’s a recipe for disruption to the supply chain post-transition which affects us all.”

According to the RHA, even if the new agents are hired trained by 31 December, firms still don’t know what forms will be required, how they should be completed, who should complete which forms, or where they will need to be sent.

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