UK Border controls: what’s happening in July
The UK Government decided in May to scrap planned changes to import controls in July this year. Confused? Yes, most of us are and it’s not surprising with the stop start nature of import and export changes, it’s been hard to keep track of the why, what and how of what we should and shouldn’t be doing. The new import rules applied to food products and the Government noted in April “it would be wrong to impose new administrative burdens and risk disruption at ports at a time of higher costs due to the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices.”
It is the fourth time it has delayed EU import checks since the UK left the EU.
Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Government was reviewing how it would implement checks on EU goods and “the new controls regime will come into force at the end of 2023”. Stating a Target Operating Model would be published in the autumn that will set out new regime of border import controls and will target the end of 2023 as the revised introduction date for our controls regime, which will deliver on the Government promise to create ‘the world’s best border on our shores.’
At a recent BPMA Education Day, Chris Salmon of expert advisers clearBorder, said whilst we have a respite for some things now, the announcement from Jacob Rees-Mogg included plans to bring forward border modernisation from 2025 to 2023. If you are wondering what this could mean; we are warned this could mean new processes, systems and probably new law.
This will mean implications throughout the supply chain from forwarders and agents through to businesses themselves. Working on pilots for border modernisation, we are expecting change and getting the right advice will be paramount.
The BPMA is meeting with the Minister For Exports in July to put the case for our industry once more and discuss the opportunities to address the ongoing challenges for promotional merchandise in export and import, customs and of course freight.
Northern Ireland Protocol
At the time of going to press, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was still taking a position to indicate Article 16 would be used to make changes to the Protocol but with a threatened trade war, it’s uncertain where this is really headed. Stressing the need for clarification and less public trading of insults over the handling of this trade-critical position, the BPMA has stressed to BEIS, DIT and Cabinet the long lasting damage this is doing to British reputation for excellence.
A recent report from clearBorder had some startling facts which present a very sober picture of the post-Brexit trading position we now live in. Whilst we have got used to the new rules, it’s clear more change is on the way. Look out for more reports in PM in the next issue.
83% of respondents have experienced delays with imports; 67% have experienced delays with exports. More than three quarters of traders think these have got worse since 2020
70% of respondents have increased delivery times to absorb possible delays
59% of respondents experiencing delays cite lack of UK customs capacity
33% have had goods rejected/ impounded
57% have increased stock levels, citing prices rises and border disruption as major causes
34% have changed their main port of entry to EU for exports
58% have had to purchase new software
37% delays have changed mode of transport for import
38% have established a subsidiary in EU to help manage import and exports
47% have had to employ new staff to cope with new processes
BPMA members have access to consultations from clearBorder and discounted online training. Report credit clearBorder: The State of the Border 2021 (published 2022)