Business, Forwarding, Freight News

Forwarders are still Brexit fall-guys, says BIFA

[ October 9, 2020   //   ]

BIFA ssays it is concerned with the introduction of the ‘Least Worst Case Scenario’ into the latest version of the Government’s Border Operating Model for trade after the end of the Brexit transition period.
Director general Robert Keen, said that following the leak of a Cabinet Office letter in September, the trade association stated that it felt its members are being set up by the government as scapegoats should the new procedures for cross-border freight movements between the UK and EU not lead to frictionless trade next January.
He said that the Least Worst Case Scenario did nothing to assuage the feeling of BIFA members that Government will be seeking to blame forwarders and traders should freight movement between the EU and UK suffer serious problems from the start of 2021.
However, he added that the revised Border Operating Model suggests a more cohesive approach to managing the UK’s trade flows and regulatory procedures with the EU. The original Model was too generic and lacked clarity on key issues.

However: “Having read the latest document, I believe that that the efforts made by BIFA on behalf of members to address some of those issues has borne fruit. The latest version of the Border Operating Model is clearly stricter in tone and emphasises the regulatory and compliance aspects of customs-related activities, whilst providing additional information on important issues such as Deferred Declaration Procedures; the data requirements for Entry in Declarants Records; Guarantees and where a waiver is applicable; Information on liabilities and what constitutes ‘Core Compliance’; as well as more detail on the reduced data sets required for bulk entries.
“Another interesting addition is the information regarding the additional port infrastructure and the establishment of inland locations to undertake certain customs-related processing activities.”
BIFA would be able to provide its members with the more information and some of the clarity they need to prepare.
However they were also looking for assurance from government that the new IT and other systems being introduced will actually work, and will be able to do what is necessary.