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Be Brexit-ready, forwarder urges business

[ September 18, 2018   //   ]

A Yorkshire forwarder has set out urgent practical steps businesses trading with the EU should take to minimise problems after a “no deal” Brexit.

David Johnson, managing director of Leeds-based Tudor International Freight, said with less than 200 days until the UK leaves the EU, affected importers and exporters broadly needed to bring their processes and documentation for trading with the bloc into line with those applying to third countries.

He said: “The possibility of no withdrawal agreement being concluded in the talks involving the EU and UK seems to have risen sharply up the list of possible outcomes in recent weeks. If this happens, the free circulation of goods between the two will cease in March 2019 and there’ll be immediate changes to importing and exporting procedures, as the envisaged 20-month transition period won’t apply.”

Johnson believes that tariffs could almost certainly be imposed, along with import and export declarations and any VAT and customs duties due would need to be paid.

Businesses should ensure that comprehensive CMR notes are used for all consignments transported by road to and from the EU and should contain detailed and precise content concerning shippers and consignees, Mr Johnson added: “We’d also advise traders with the EU to ensure they now prepare full and accurate commercial invoices. It’s important that all descriptions of goods are sufficient for the appropriate customs commodity codes to be identified and applied.”

Businesses should now be talking with other companies in their supply chains, to ensure any preparations needed for a “no deal” outcome were in progress there too.

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