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Trade still needs to get to grips with Brexit, warns Clecat

[ May 28, 2021   //   ]

Five months after Brexit many traders are still not fully prepared for the ‘new normal’, forwarders’ organisation Clecat told the European Parliament on 26 May.

At a hearing of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee, chair of the group’s Customs and Indirect Taxation Institute, Dimitri Sérafimoff, said that the industry had had to get to grips with new red tape and barriers to the flow of goods, including additional paperwork, customs controls, veterinary/phytosanitary (SPS) checks on food and agricultural products, additional costs and delays.

He added: “The implementation of these new formalities and procedures brought about numerous practical challenges for supply chains which will certainly take time to overcome. But seamless trade across the Channel is a thing of the past.”

As the UK has not yet fully rolled out its border controls on EU imports – goods currently enter Great Britain with minimum controls – there will be more challenges with pre-notification requirements on EU imports of certain goods subject to SPS controls in Great Britain, and full customs declarations at the time of import for all goods. Clecat stressed the need for governments and businesses to make preparations in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays and operational chaos.

It has identified areas where further discussions or guidance are needed to improve bilateral trade including the need for common SPS standards which will support agri-food supply chains, cooperation on customs security to facilitate legitimate trade, as well as a more pragmatic approach to rules of origin and associated procedures.

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