Business, Forwarding, Freight News, Logistics

Exporters could face paperwork mountain, warns forwarder

[ October 28, 2019   //   ]

A customs entry for each shipment to the EU could take an hour-and-three-quarters to complete under Boris Johnson’s now ‘paused’ draft EU withdrawal agreement, says director of Leeds forwarder Tudor International Freight, Adam Johnson.

He said the customs declaration form UK companies would have to provide for every consignment shipped to the EU will have 50 fields, according to an official government estimate.

He said the current draft EU withdrawal agreement and political declaration would be more damaging for Britain’s businesses than the versions concluded by his predecessor, but which had been rejected by Parliament.

Johnson said the trade implications of the new draft agreement differed from the texts approved by previous premier Theresa May in crucial respects.

He said: “Boris Johnson’s deal would see Britain exit the EU’s customs union following the envisaged post-leaving transition period. This is currently set to conclude in December 2020, though officially it can be extended for one or two years if the UK and the bloc agree to this in the middle of next year.

“This intended customs union withdrawal is because the government clearly wants the transition period to precede a relatively loose trading relationship with the EU. The plan is that this would be enshrined in a free trade agreement, broadly of the kind the bloc implemented with Canada in 2017.”

Mr Johnson said Mrs May’s approach, in contrast, would have seen the whole UK remain in the customs union indefinitely, until the two sides concluded a free trade deal that rendered it redundant.

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