There are now approximately only 10 weeks until the UK will leave the EU behind with no further ties as the transition period comes to an end and the Government has acknowledged that “time is running out for businesses to prepare”.
As an answer to this, the RHA has created the ‘RHA Customs Brokerage Service’ to assist with cross-EU border processes.
RHA CEO Richard Burnett claimed: “The focus for the thousands of hauliers and traders that currently move goods between GB and the EU is not on a ‘deal’ – it’s on how will cross-EU border traffic cope with the added processes – not least the added paperwork. That’s why we are pleased to announce the launch of the RHA Customs Brokerage service.
Mr. Burnett continued: “We know that the haulage and logistics sector needs guidance as to the new processes. Many companies already work closely with their customs brokers and they will easily be able to adapt to the new regime. But following an extensive industry survey, we have established that over 63% of operators are unprepared for the customs changes.”
HMRC is estimating that the current number of annual transactions (50 million) will increase to over 200 million and this is including the 20 million needed to service the Irish protocol once the UK leaves the EU and Ireland remains. Thousands of extra customs brokers at borders will be required to meet demands but it is not an easily obtainable job and suitable candidates need to be recruited and receive sufficient training - it is a long process with a very short amount of time.
“The massive shortfall of customs agents means that there is definitely a need for operational guidance and practical customs solutions. The expertise of our policy department combined with our extensive experience of the many customs procedures will ensure that the RHA Customs Brokerage service will be a best practice and industry-leading customs solution,” Richard Burnett continued.
The RHA Customs Brokerage service will initially focus on Ro-Ro traffic and will be connected to all 26 major UK ports and will ensure that declarations can be completed in a way that suits operators and traders within those sectors.
Finalising his statement, Richard Burnett said: “It’s all about taking the risk, the time demands and the general headache out of the new declarations process. The RHA Customs Brokerage service will provide full support for RHA members, businesses, clients, and traders by ensuring they can keep goods moving while staying compliant in these challenging and unprecedented times.”
Now with another national lockdown on the way and businesses forced to shut down again for an entire month, this will leave approximately 4 weeks before the transition period ends, so, the question is, should we delay the end of this transition period or not? - Time will tell if this is the decision the government chooses or not.