The UK logistics industry is ready to work closely with the government to ensure post-Brexit customers procedures don’t “stifle supply chain efficiency”, said UKWA chief Peter Ward at its annual parliamentary lunch.
Ward was responding to the event’s guest speaker, Ben Fowler from HMRC who “outlined the government’s recently published Customs Bill paper and HMRC’s vision for future Customs arrangements, giving an indication of how legislation covering the UK’s future customs, VAT and excise regimes is likely to be framed.”
According to UKWA, the government is suggesting that extra inland customs clearance depots may need to be established to free up capacity in and around UK ports. The association said that, where possible, it is hoped that this can be achieved by “upgrading existing handling and distribution facilities which could, potentially, represent new opportunities for those in the warehousing and logistics sector.”
“While Brexit means we are, in effect dismantling the business processes and working practices that have evolved over 40 years, which will clearly present challenges, the logistics industry has shown time and again that it is more than capable of responding to the issues thrown up by the constantly shifting commercial and societal landscapes, and I am sure that this time will be no different,” said Peter Ward, chief executive of the UKWA. “Shortage of labour was a problem for the logistics industry before the referendum and it has been exacerbated by Brexit and the weaker pound which is prompting an exodus of the Eastern European labour on which our sector has relied for some years”.