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New import rules bite – but there could be worse to come

[ January 11, 2022   //   ]

Trade with the EU will get a lot more difficult if Article 16 is triggered, warns ParcelHero. The broker says that the government’s new Brexit negotiator, Liz Truss, has repeated that the UK is willing to trigger the ‘nuclear option’ but , unilateral action by the UK could result in a delayed hard Brexit and ruin chances for a US trade deal.
New UK-EU trade regulations were introduced on 1 January, creating further problems for UK businesses. EU-based exporters are no longer allowed to defer customs declarations but must now pre-lodge export documents before shipping goods to the UK. The controversial requirement for Rules of Origin declarations, under which the sources of all products’ components must be revealed, are also being stepped up.
For border locations with limited space and infrastructure, in particular Dover, Holyhead and the Eurotunnel terminal at Cheriton, checks will have to take place at inland border facilities.
However, the UK’s new chief Brexit negotiator, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, could make the current situation significantly worse by invoking Article 16, fears the international delivery expert ParcelHero.
ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks says new import requirements from the EU were introduced at the beginning of the year but as negotiators return next week to the vexed topic of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Foreign Secretary’s threat to trigger Article 16, which effectively explodes the agreement, “could make a bad situation a lot worse. It could lead to retaliatory action by the EU, which would end the entire Brexit deal.”
He added: “Some were hoping that the departure of Lord Frost from UK-EU trade negotiations would ease the tension. However, it seems that it is business as usual, with Liz Truss saying this week, “If we have to use legitimate provisions including Article 16, I am willing to do that.”
David Jinks commented: “We agree with Ms Truss that the UK should avoid any final Northern Ireland trade deal that still sees goods moving within the UK being subject to checks. However, using Article 16 to undo the Protocol signed by the Prime Minister is likely to infuriate the EU. It could result in the collapse of the entire Brexit deal and the imposition of the hard Brexit so long feared by UK businesses.”
‘He pointed out also that the US has not repealed its 25% duty on UK steel, originally imposed by President Trump, even though it has scrapped the same tax on steel from the EU: “Washington insiders say this is because the US Government is very concerned about the UK’s threats to trigger Article 16. Kim Darroch, a former ambassador to the US, told the BBC the “troubled state” of trade relations between the UK and the US is “confirmation that the US will act to protect a peace they helped broker” in Northern Ireland.”
Worse, said David Jinks, any hopes of a full trade deal with the US are likely to be scuppered for the next three years if Article 16 is invoked.

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