RHA raises concerns for haulage industry as Brexit deadline nears
The UK government and EU negotiators are deadlocked on issues like state aid rules and fishing rights, which could scupper any hopes for a deal after December 31.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The focus for the thousands of hauliers and traders that currently move goods between GB and the EU is not on a ‘deal’ - it’s on how will cross-EU border traffic cope with the added processes - not least the added paperwork. That’s why we are pleased to announce the launch of the RHA Customs Brokerage service.
“We know that the haulage and logistics sector needs guidance as to the new processes. Many companies already work closely with their customs brokers and they will easily be able to adapt to the new regime. But following an extensive industry survey, we have established that over 63% of operators are unprepared for the customs changes.”
HMRC estimated that the current 50 million annual transactions will increase to well over 200 million, including the 20 million needed to service the Irish protocol once the UK leaves the EU.
Thousands of extra customs brokers will be needed to meet the demand, but suitable candidates need to be recruited and trained.
“The massive shortfall of customs agents means that there is definitely a need for operational guidance and practical customs solutions. The expertise of our policy department combined with our extensive experience of the many customs procedures will ensure that the RHA Customs Brokerage service will be a best practice and industry-leading customs solution,” Burnett added.
The service will be electronically connected to all 26 major UK ports and will ensure that declarations can be completed in a way that suits operators and traders.
Burnett said: “It’s all about taking the risk, the time demands and the general headache out of the new declarations process. The RHA Customs Brokerage service will provide full support for RHA members, businesses, clients, and traders by ensuring they can keep goods moving while staying compliant in these challenging and unprecedented times.”