BREXIT: South Yorkshire exporters warned they will need new customs forms only available from specialists

South Yorkshire exporters are being warned new customs forms will be required from February 1 – which are only available through specialists.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 5:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:04 pm

Brexit will mean goods leaving the country must have customs declarations that can only be accessed online, with specific software and a link to HMRC.

Steve White, managing director of Metoni Logistics in Dinnington, used a £13,000 government grant to buy the necessary computers, systems and training.

But he fears many firms might not be up to speed with the changes - as the UK’s departure from the trading bloc looms.

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Steve White, managing director of Metoni Logistics in Dinnington.

He said: “It’s not the easiest of processes. You need to have a link directly to HMRC and the right software. I think a lot of people have pushed it to the back of their minds at the moment. I think the enquiries will come next week, with two weeks to go.”

The UK is set to Brexit on January 31 after the Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been passed.

Metoni will charge exporters £25 per consignment for the new forms. But no tariffs, fees or VAT payments will be applied due to the UK being in a 'transition period’. They all kick in after a trade deal has been agreed, or if the UK leaves with no deal at the end of 2020.

No deal could also bring delays at ports due to goods being physically checked before being cleared by customs, Mr White added. Meanwhile, importers will also have to pay tariffs after the transition period ends, the rates will depend on the final deal.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has insisted a trade deal with the EU is possible by December 2020.

But yesterday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said a full deal would be “impossible” by then.

EU law dictates that trade talks can't start until the UK legally leaves the bloc. Then EU countries must agree a mandate for the EU Commission to negotiate a trade agreement on their behalf. This has to be formally signed off at minister level by all EU countries. It means trade talks will start at the beginning of March.

EU membership ensures ‘frictionless’ trade between members with no red tape, checks or fees.