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Good news in the Budget but Brexit still a worry, says BIFA

[ October 29, 2021   //   ]

BIFA says it welcomes some of the Chancellor’s announcements in Wednesday’s Budget, but that it was overshadowed by the ongoing uncertainty over the shape that Brexit from the EU is taking.
Director general Robert Keen said: “We welcome the news that the planned increase in fuel duty has been scrapped, and also the further funding for apprenticeships and training, as we encourage our members to recruit youngsters into the sector.”
He added that if the increased Department for International Trade spending over the next few years does indeed support UK business to improve the UK’s exports, it would also be positive news for BIFA members. The commitment of £180 million to build a UK Single Trade Window, to reduce trade costs by digitally streamlining trader interactions with border agencies, was also good news, “especially if it helps reduce the duplication of work that takes place at present.” And: “The additional finance for the three years to 2024-25 to complete the delivery of critical customs IT, including the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that is replacing CHIEF, recognises the challenges that design and implementation programme still faces.”
But he added that BIFA members, and their customers, remain concerned about the potential impact on their activities at the UK border and elsewhere of the transition from CHIEF to CDS, as well as the timetable for the implementation of the Border Operating Model.”
However, the promise to consult businesses on customs processes, the intermediaries market and transit facilitation was also welcome.
Robert Keen concluded: “We hope that promise is not just spin and look forward to active engagement.”

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