This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

Customs intermediary examining goods in factory

UK traders are supportive of the government’s plans to introduce a voluntary standard for customs intermediaries, according to a poll conducted on a webinar hosted by the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) yesterday (24 July).

The Treasury announced that it was considering introducing a new standard for the sector as part of the package of customs measures it published alongside this year’s Spring Budget in March.

A public consultation on the proposal was launched in June, with industry given until 30 August to provide their views.


Over two thirds (64%) of the attendees at yesterday’s webinar said they supported the plan to introduce voluntary standards for brokers, while a quarter (25%) said they needed more information before saying whether they backed the proposal.

Delegates also said that they thought the standard would improve both compliance and the quality of services provided in the sector.


A significant majority (87%) said that training and education would have a ‘very important’ role to play in accreditation for any new standard in the sector, with a further 7% saying it would be ‘quite important’.

Kevin Shakespeare, director of strategic projects and international development at IOE&IT, said that the professionalisation of the sector would be important for the UK to stand out in an increasingly competitive “global landscape”, noting that customs intermediaries were accredited or licensed in several other countries.

“Training, education and professional qualifications are clearly a key part of accreditation,” he said. “It’s important that foreign investors, importers and exporters have confidence that the UK has professional standards in place.”

Shakespeare was speaking on the webinar alongside Mark McGuire, head of customs intermediaries policy at HMRC, and Suzi Daley, external affairs manager at the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS).

IOE&IT survey

The IOE&IT will be submitting a response to the government’s public consultation about voluntary standards for customs intermediaries on behalf of its members, as well as the wider trade and customs industry.

To make sure your views are included in our response, make sure to complete this short survey.