As the UK readies itself for exiting the EU—“Brexit”—a transition period incorporating customs issues may be needed so that authorities and businesses can make adequate preparations. Customs authorities may need to prepare for an unprecedented burden on resources, but the costs ultimately could be expected to fall on business.
Without a transition period (assuming the UK exit), a customs "default process" would apply for businesses moving goods across UK-EU border.
Outside the EU customs union, the default process for anyone wanting to move goods across UK-EU borders would apply to everything from correctly classifying consignments and submitting about 25 data elements, to determining that all regulatory documents have been completed and paying the correct amount of customs duties and taxes. Moving from the current “frictionless trade” process with the EU to this default process could result in a significant new burden for business.
In order to help reduce friction and avoid delays in a manual border clearance system, it would be important for the process to be simplified using automation. The UK official in charge of the office responsible for the UK exiting the EU has advocated “technical ways” of reducing possible friction at borders, citing examples such as recognition of truck license plate numbers, tagging of containers, and “trusted trader schemes.” The UK official has stated the goal is to have a transition period of one to two years.
Read a 2017 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the UK
Read also an August 2017 report [PDF 1.7 MB]
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