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BIFA welcomes quick response to customs questions

[ September 23, 2021   //   ]

The government’s decision to delay full controls on EU goods prompted a guarded response from BIFA members at an online webinar which took place, by coincidence, less than 24 hours after the announcement.

As well as BIFA, the online discussion included presentations from HMRC, DEFRA, and French port authorities.

BIFA director general, Robert Keen: “Promises were given by the participants that they would be providing clarity on the questions raised, and it is pleasing that some of those promises are already being delivered, with updates and answers already being made available.

“Many of the questions were about Safety and Security Declarations, and we appreciate the government’s latest announcement that provides a document that consolidates all the information in one place, provides a level of detailed clarity that had been missing, and also provides the data elements required to file a declaration in the UK system.

“It has not been easy for anyone involved in managing the supply chains that underpin international trade to handle the combined problems of exiting the EU and the Covid outbreak. In many cases, BIFA members have had to rebuild supply chains, particularly for import cargoes.

“BIFA has continually told relevant government departments that communication is key as our members that are involved in UK – EU trade move from what has been principally a transport operation for the last 30 years, to one that involves comprehensive freight forwarding activities, post Brexit.”

BIFA adds that whilst it welcomes the immediate response to some of the questions raised, its members now require clarity on issues including whether the delayed will affect the timetable for replacement of CHIEF by CDS.

However, BIFA believes that the government is now starting to better understand the complexities of cross border trade processes and the trade association will continue its dialogue with the authorities to ensure all matters are resolved as quickly as possible.

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