Under the new border arrangements, UK companies importing standard products from the European Union, such as electronics and clothing, will be able to defer full customs declarations and any customs duties for up to six months. Plant and animal products, such as meat, honey, milk and eggs, will be subject to customs control from April. By July, companies will have to make full declarations and pay customs duties at the point of entry.
The government said in a statement that its approach would “give the industry extra time to make the necessary adjustments”.
The reversal of policy comes after pressure from UK business groups in recent weeks for more clarity on border arrangements and terms of future trade with the European Union, warning that companies that have already been weakened by the fall of the corona are not will be able to withstand another shock.
“The logistics industry is extremely grateful for the measures announced by the UK government to introduce new trade regulations,” said Elizabeth de Jong, policy director of the Transportation Transport Association. “They listened to our concerns and made it possible for our sector to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and plan effectively so that we can continue to negotiate effectively with Europe,” he added.
The government also announced that it would build new border facilities, including ports and inland areas, so that customs checks could be carried out and revealed a 50 50 million package ($ 63 million) to better allow customs brokers such as brokers. freight forwarders and package operators, to prepare.
The biggest point of crisis is expected to be the passage of English channels between Dover and the French city of Calais. The port of Dover handled 2.5 million trucks in 2018 and another 1.7 million passed through the nearby Eurotunnel under the canal.
Double whammy in front?
Britain is in an precarious economic position.
British companies have so far borrowed. 35 billion ($ 44.4 billion) so far as part of a government coronation relief program, according to figures released by the UK Treasury Department on Tuesday. And nearly 9 million people – about 27 percent of the workforce – rely on the state to pay all or part of their wages at a cost of ,6 19.6 billion ($ 22.2 billion) so far.
Fears are now growing that businesses could deal with a corona strike and sever its remaining ties with the European Union without a trade protection agreement. Talks on a new trade agreement have made little progress.
“Negotiators seem to be stuck in a stalemate and are far behind on key issues such as governance, the rules of equity, fishing and, crucially, the borders of Northern Ireland,” Berenberg Bank economists said in a statement on Friday.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development expects the UK economy to shrink by 11.5% this year, even if a key free trade agreement with the European Union is reached and a second wave of infections avoided.
The sharp rise in corona cases combined with a costly final exit from the European Union would only cause a deeper decline.
– Luke McGee contributed to the report.