Getting operations ready for Brexit, a critical issue for logisticians, came under scrutiny from John Lucy, Freight Transport Association international transport & trade procedures manager, at the IntraLogisteX exhibition.
Lucy noted that the effect Brexit is having on the logistics industry is incomprehensible and will have a huge effect on all sectors.
The UK aims to leave on the 29th March and a Withdrawal Agreement is currently before the House of Commons for ratification.
If the withdrawal agreement is ratified, a Transitional period would begin on 29 March and would mean business would continue as usual for UK-EU logistics until 31 December 2020.
And if the agreement is not ratified, the Government could request an extension on the 29 March deadline, seek a second referendum or call a general election and seek a new mandate to govern, or leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement, explained Lucy.
He noted that post-Brexit the UK will be leaving the customs union and businesses will be liable for all taxes and duties on goods associated with international trade, which we currently enjoy as part of the EU. This means that goods will be held longer than prior.
All companies will need an EORI number to trade across UK borders. Everything will be subject to some sort of scrutiny across the border line, stated Lucy. For example, declarations will need to be lodged two hours prior to arrival at all UK ports and it will be one hour on the Eurotunnel.
Likewise, everything is going to be subject to different tariffs, which the price increases haven’t been published yet and it will be up to the UK to negotiate new trade deals post-Brexit.
“No mater where you are in the supply chain you need to be involved with this,” said Lucy. This will require a new level of communication and data exchange he added.
Main worries include turning a very slick business operation into a slow one – and lot of the time something goes wrong, especially as we don’t know what things are like on the other side, said Lucy.
All truck will be subject to a “hard border” on day one post 29 march. Delays will come in from all the checks that will need to be made for passports, licences, etc., noted Lucy.
Lucy recommended some steps that businesses can take to ensure they are prepared for Brexit. He suggested applying for an EORI number, to review the information needed for Declaration form, applying for a deferment account if eligible,
Lucy also suggested for companies to agree responsibilities with customs agents and/or logistics provider, and to apply for ID documents and/or certificates for goods and to plan logistics for travel via inland locations, including Border Inspection Post and designated points of entry.
All companies that are directly or indirectly engaged with in the UK will be hit as all EU trade will be impacted concluded Lucy.