The Unavoidable Post Brexit Disaster on Cross Border Trade

You may recall I've written before on the perils of being an SME Importing from / Exporting to the EU, post Brexit.

Context : I import and export motorcycle and cycle parts, spares and accessories.

I've written about the four separate contradictory sets of information I and others have received from the former DExEU, on Cross-Border Trade Regulations and Documentation.

Well, now there is (some) clarity. Instead of saying "Nobody knows" I can now write "Now we know, and it's even worse than we feared."

It's about Cross-Border Documentation.

Non-EU Norway and Switzerland applied for a waiver under EU Customs Code by international Agreement, and got it. No paperwork. No fees. No problem.

Now the Official UK Government 'Border Delivery Group' has stated they will not bother with asking for a waiver as it doesn't fit their Canada /Australia model, two nations which are not connected by a tunnel to the EU.

Which means :

  • For Export, documentation with 31 items of data at £15 per shipment.
  • For Import, documentation with 45 items of data at £15 per shipment.

Per shipment - not per container. One container may contain 100s of shipments.

Which means :

  • The UK will be doing 220 MILLION new customs declarations a year after Brexit - and now 220 MILLION safety and security declarations a year, for all shipments, import and export. And the HMRC will be processing those 440 MILLION a year declarations.

That's a lot of Red Tape' for a Brexit that sold itself on 'Cutting Red Tape'.

When the single market was formed in 1992, 2,000 trucks a day crossed the Channel - now it is 15,000. It's a river, a continuous flow. Or at least it is now. It won't be soon.

Naturally, all Logistics, Freight and Shipping companies are livid. As are the ports.

Ironically the person who's unapologetically summarised this impending disaster is Peter Foster.

Europe Correspondent.

For the Daily 'Brexit and Boris Johnson' Telegraph.

Peter Foster, Europe Correspondent for Daily Telegraph.