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Where to go for support on customs disruptions

New research shows that 60% of manufacturers have faced ‘significant disruption’ due to customs paperwork and red tape since EU Exit on 1 January. Here is a summary of where to go for support. 

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More than one month on from the end of the EU Transition period, many importers and exporters are still facing long border delays caused by complexities with paperwork.

According to the latest data from manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, three-fifths of companies are experiencing disruption despite believing they were ready for the transition to end. The same proportion is finding their supply chains have been significantly impacted, with 32 per cent experiencing difficulties in both directions.

The increase in paperwork at the border has led to substantial delays for trucks, with some businesses taking the hard decision to put a temporary hold on importing and exporting from the EU. Make UK has also warned that many businesses are struggling to prove the origin of their goods to qualify for zero tariffs, with some finding the administrative burden so difficult that they are choosing to pay the tariffs instead.

Industry groups are working constructively with the government to tackle these issues, but in the meantime, there are a number of sources manufacturers can go to for support:

  • HMRC has produced a series of webinars to help businesses understand customs import declarations, border controls and trader responsibilities.
  • A series of wider on-demand webinars and videos on trade with the EU is available on the UK website.
  • Businesses can apply for grants to help with customs declarations. Grants are available for recruitment, training and IT, co-funded training projects and trader training.
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is hosting a series of podcasts to help businesses that make, use or supply chemicals to understand what actions they should take now independent chemical regimes are in place. Search for ‘The HSE Podcast’ on your preferred podcast platform.
  • The British Chambers of Commerce have launched a dedicated Future of UK-EU Trade Relations webinar series, with sessions on various topics running until 16 March.
  • Make UK has published a simple guide to conformity assessment for products requiring the CE mark and new UKCA and UKNI marks, which complements our own blog on the subject from November 2020.

Further advice and guidance are available via the government’s Brexit Checker tool, the CBI’s UK Transition Hub and GC Business Growth Hub’s dedicated EU Transition hub.

For one-to-one support and advice from a specialist advisor, please contact our Manufacturing Service.

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