Forwarding, Freight News

Time to break out the carnets in Brexit Britain?

[ June 24, 2016   //   ]

Following the announcement of a ‘leave’ result in the EU referendum today (24 June), the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says coming out of union risks disrupting the UK supply chains. The Government has two years to negotiate the new rules – one example is the need for international road transport customs carnets, last used by the UK in 1992, which are required to allow goods to move under customs control across international borders.

FTA is calling on the Government to prioritise arrangements for international freight transport in its negotiations, minimising additional legislation and keeping costs as low as possible for British businesses.

FTA chief executive David Wells said: “Even though we are coming out of Europe politically, it remains our biggest export market and the supplier of a high proportion of our imports. We cannot allow new bureaucratic burdens to hamper the efficient movement of exports heading for customers and imported goods destined for British consumers.”

Mr Wells said: “The Government has two years to ensure the conditions currently imposed on other non-EU member states such as Albania and Serbia are not imposed on UK freight flows. Norway and Switzerland have better arrangements but have accepted tough conditions including the free movement of people, so this will be a difficult negotiation.

David Johnson, managing director of Leeds-based Tudor International Freight, added: “Whatever new system results, however, administration, time or cost increases for  companies trading with EU-based organisations are certain.”

Mr Johnson said that when Tudor currently imported goods from the EU on a client’s behalf, for example, the only documentation it needed was a copy of the packing list or commercial invoice and the travel docment – a waybill, bill of lading or CMR note.

He said: “No customs clearance process or duties apply and you don’t have to pay any VAT before the goods can be moved from the receiving port or airport.”

Mr Johnson said the Brexit vote had made possible three broad alternative scenarios: a Norwegian-style free trade agreement with the union; a series of bilateral trade treaties with it on the Swiss model; and the UK and EU nations charging each other the import duties they apply to other countries in the World Trade Organisation with which they lack free trade agreements.

He added, however: “Forty-five per cent of the UK’s exports currently go to EU countries and three million jobs are linked to trading with other organisations in the Single Market. Given these facts and that, after a long period of uncertainty, trading with the EU is now sure to become less easy, speedy or cheap, we quite understand why many UK businesses will have concerns about their futures today.”



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