UK firms streamline customs procedures to prepare for post-transition trade with the EU

Mon 27 Jul 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

customs formalities

UK exporters and importers are planning to use ‘customs special procedures’ to enhance their customs and trade operations for post-transition period trading from 2021, according to two recent IOE&IT polls.

Procedures including CFSP (Customs Freight Simplified Procedures), transit, inward processing and customs warehousing enable companies to defer, reduce or eliminate tariffs and duties, and more effectively manage their supply chains.

The IOE&IT questioned 1400 attendees to two webinars hosted by the IOE&IT this month on the subject of the new Border Operating Model.

AEO awareness

The polls showed that firms are also considering applying for AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status to ensure additional customs and supply chain benefits.

In response to a question posed during both webinars, more than two thirds (68%) said they were either considering or already use these procedures.

The polls were answered by more than one thousand delegates over the two webinars.

Proactive step

UK businesses are facing new customs obligations for trade with the EU from the start of next year, including completing customs declarations.

However, firms can apply for authorisations from HMRC to use enhance their procedures.

From the two webinar polls, almost a third (31%) said they already use customs authorisations, with 37% saying they are considering applying for them.

Kevin Shakespeare, director of stakeholder engagement at the IOE&IT, welcomed the findings, saying:

“The fact that almost 70% of the businesses polled are already using or considering the use of customs authorisations is a pleasant surprise. We are glad to see businesses are taking proactive steps to prepare for post-transition trade.”

Broker support

The polls also found that firms are split between planning to complete declarations themselves or using an intermediary to complete them on their behalf.

Almost two fifths (38%) said they will use an agent or broker, with the same proportion saying they will do complete declarations themselves.

The webinars were run by the IOE&IT in partnership with the UK Customs Academy and Open to Export.

Prepared for post-transition

Over a half of the delegates (54%) said they were ‘Very prepared’ or ‘Quite prepared’ for changes to EU trade at the end of the transition.

This compares favourably to a survey run by the Institute of Directors earlier in the month which showed only a quarter of businesses felt ready for the post-transition trade.