Hard to classify has meant a hard start to 2021 for the industry

2021 has had a tough start; lockdown and the end of the Brexit Transition period signalled a far more challenging January than anyone would have ever anticipated.

Expected ‘new rules’ have dominated headlines and calls to the BPMA in the past few weeks. Reporting daily into Government teams who were eager to find out ‘how we were coping’ the situation was far from ideal, the feedback has been blunt and brutal from the BPMA and majority of trade bodies representing companies involved in import and export.

Whilst the new rules were expected, the late stage deal prior to Christmas had left uncertainty for many, particularly distributors whose end user clients expected answers for why orders were not reaching their destinations. A perfect storm in these past few weeks has seen hauliers and carriers hitting far greater barriers than they themselves were able to cope with, resulting in returned goods and incurring additional expenses. Many distributors have reported lost orders and confidence in the UK supply chain during this period due to the disruption.

Representing the BPMA to Government, BPMA CEO Carey Trevill said ‘The situation has been incredibly hard for many companies and their customers. Members have been coming to us in droves seeking help to interpret the rules; origin, customs, EU VAT to name a few areas. We are working closely with members to support and signpost to the right information, providing a collective point for resources. Our conversations with Government teams have focused on the clarity needed for our sector.’

There is no doubt our sector will find a way to address the identification of goods to ensure smooth export and import. Flagged as ‘teething’ problems by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the watching brief for the industry is figuring out our sector pathway for smooth trade.

BPMA members can access resources to support on import/export queries. Please contact the BPMA to access.

To access Government advice on import and export, click here.

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