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Business unprepared for December, says survey

[ August 25, 2020   //   ]

Two thirds of UK businesses have had their Brexit preparations disrupted by Covid-19, according to a survey by Sapio Research on behalf of logistics software specialist. Descartes Systems Group.

Less than a quarter are confident that they will be able to cope with the extra administrative burden of Brexit, while two thirds of large firms are highly concerned about longer delays in their supply chain impacting their business after Brexit.

Fewer than one in five businesses are prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit but preparedness drops to just 3% of companies in the food and drink and healthcare and medical sectors.

Almost three quarters  are concerned about the customs brokerage capacity post-Brexit. Two fifths are concerned about customs declarations impacting their business post-Brexit.

Just over half think a UK-EU trade deal is unlikely to be achieved in 2020 and only one in ten supply chain managers claim to have total certainty regarding the impact of Brexit on their business.

Delays to the supply chain are the biggest concern regarding the impact of Brexit on cross border trade.

Over two thirds of supply chain managers in healthcare are concerned about supply chain delays. Tariff payments (40%) and customs declarations (40%) are the next highest concerns.

The survey says that organisations and supply chain managers with existing experience of customs declarations are far more worried about Brexit than those who have yet to discover the complexity of customs processes. Significantly, with consumer behaviour having fundamentally changed during the Covid outbreak, this inexperience is likely to catch out many smaller sole traders who have moved to an ecommerce model during the pandemic.

Descartes’ vice president of sales and business manager UK, Pol Sweeney, comments: “Membership of the EU has masked the complexities of customs for many, many businesses. Since the Single Market came into force there have been no customs formalities between the UK and EU for nearly 28 years, over which time international trade has grown and evolved significantly. The fact is that Brexit will have vast implications for any company importing or exporting out of the UK. Our research highlights the need for organisations to act now to ensure the right systems, processes and skills are in place in time.”

www.descartes.com/lp/brexit-readiness-whitepaper

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