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Published:September 21, 2021

British businesses seek certainty on import procedures

British businesses seek certainty on import procedures

Businesses have welcomed the UK’s recent decision to delay certain border controls, but are seeking a clear map forward.

In a statement, the British Chambers of Commerce said that the border control delays are “sensible” under the circumstances. However, “businesses want certainty from Government. Ministers need to show them how they plan to step up rates of EU trader readiness for the new controls.”


Uneven playing field

While delaying SPS controls at the UK border may be a necessary short term measure, some industry representatives have expressed concern about unfair trade conditions. 

A spokesperson for the British Meat Processing Association said that delaying controls means that British companies will face “unequal competition” from European suppliers. 

The Food and Drink Federation also expressed frustration with the delays, saying businesses have invested “significant time and money” to prepare for the deadline.


Border controls are affecting export figures

According to UK trade statistics, exports to the EU in July 2021 are down 6.5% compared to July of the previous year. While the figures are, in part, affected Covid and related supply chain issues, we should note that UK exports to non-EU destinations did not experience the same decline.

By contrast, Ireland saw an increase in exports to Great Britain in the similar time period. Imports into Ireland from Great Britain decreased by 16%. 

It seems clear that the additional friction of border controls is already affecting long term trade patterns. 


Be prepared (to adapt)

The uncertainty of post-Brexit regulations puts businesses in a bind. On the one hand, companies need to prepare for deadlines and be ready to comply with new import rules as they take effect. On the other hand, investing in regulations that are delayed or fail to take effect can be counterproductive. 

Businesses need a flexible, dynamic trade solution that adapts as conditions change on the ground.


A complete supply chain solution 

re:TRADE, powered by VAT IT, is a supply chain solution that helps you navigate the uncertain waters of post-Brexit trade. re:TRADE provides clarity and guidance, ensuring trade with Europe is as fast, efficient and cost-effective as possible.  


Get in touch with re:TRADE for a custom trade solution for your business. 

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