Brexit Update November 2020

Currently within the UK we complete about 50 million customs entries per year. Michael Gove announced that with our withdrawal from the EU we will increase the amount of customs entries to 350 million. It was estimated that we need 50,000 new customs employees to fulfil this obligation. The logistics industry has been hiring people across the country to prepare for Brexit for the last 4-5 months.  Medium size forwarders are hiring on average 45 new staff. Larger organisations are hiring anything between 75-200 employees.

Customs workshops are being held and we utilising the export and import declaration training approved by HMRC in 2019 in order to be “Brexit Ready”, however there is still believed to be a deficit in the amount of staff that will be required both at the ports and inland. At this stage of course; we still have many unknowns due to the lack of a deal. We understand that some form of documentation will be required but the amount of detail can only be determined with confirmation of a deal/no deal as to complexity of the information that will have to be presented.

The ports and the government have been investing in truck examination sites on both sides of the continent for the export pre-lodgement process before departure and for border control and security. At the port of Dover the examination site will be outside of the port to alleviate port congestion. There is requirement to purchase a permit to enter Kent ports and the pre-lodging of the export entry is required. Any trucker in the port without a permit will be fined £300.

The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) recently completed a survey of their members, while 65% of the members confirmed that they are ready the industry feels that 75% of the exporters are not ready for Brexit so this is a huge concern.

We are in a huge wave of change, we do believe there will be some delays to the delivery of goods but this will be more due to the requirement to pay import duty and taxes before the delivery takes place unless you have a deferment account with HMRC and vice versa on the continent. Forwarders have expanded their warehousing space to accommodate the freight that is pending customs release.

Any importer that is paying HMRC through a duty deferment account should consider increasing their limit with customs; to account for additional import taxes for goods coming in from the European Union. Exporters need to be prepared with their government EORI, their list of harmonised commodity codes and the customs process that their goods are under.

Brexit is forcing the industry to look at processes and technology for solutions so it is an exciting for the future.