Logistics UK welcomes EU-UK customs declarations postponement

Business group Logistics UK has welcomed the UK government’s extension of the deadline for the introduction of full customs declarations and other formalities including checks on products of animal origin and plants.
 The extension has been given thanks to stressors on the new system imposed in part by the pandemic.

Sarah Laouadi, European policy manager at Logistics UK said, “Alleviating pressures on the supply chain caused by the current pandemic remains the priority for our sector,” she added. “[This] announcement acknowledges the challenges and mounting compliance pressure created by multiple Covid-19 lockdowns and regulations across different European nations. By moving the deadline for the introduction of extra import formalities on goods coming to the UK, the government is providing more time for businesses and authorities to adapt to the upcoming extra requirements; for example, by training staff, designing robust business processes to interact with new IT systems and agreeing a new allocation of roles and responsibilities with their supply chain partners. This will protect the UK’s highly interconnected supply chain to keep the nation supplied with the goods and services it needs.

“It is imperative that governments and industry now work hand in hand to make the best possible use of this extra time, to raise the level of readiness for checks both in the UK and in the EU. In particular, Logistics UK is pushing the UK government for a much bigger focus on end-to-end provision of guidance to ease the import process and enhanced engagement with traders, but also hauliers, on both sides of the UK’s border.”

The new checks on animal and plant products were to begin on April 1 and full customs declarations would have been imposed on July 1. Laouadi concluded, “[This] announcement will mean that businesses have an extra six to nine months – depending on products – to prepare for these two deadlines while fast-moving Covid-19-related rules hopefully stabilize and are phased out.”

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