Sheffield customs broker warns of more Brexit damage as new checks come in

Sheffield importers are being warned of new red tape on January 1 that could further damage trade after Brexit.

By David Walsh
Monday, 13th December 2021, 12:08 pm

Companies will have to fill out a customs declaration before they arrive in the UK. Failing to produce one could result in delays at ports or vehicles being turned back, according to customs broker Steve White, of Metoni Logistics in Dinnington.

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Currently firms have up to six months after arrival to do the paperwork.

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Metoni Logistics, from left: Steve White, Lauren Widdowson, Katie Widdowson, Nik White and Brad White.

WHAT OTHER NEW CHECKS ARE COMING?

There will also be new checks on animal and plant products, with importers required to register goods with HMRC 24 hours before they arrive at a port, he added.

Mr White said he expected the changes to hit small companies hardest.

It comes after a drop in trade with the EU when the Brexit deal came into force in January this year.

Mr White added: “There was a lot of upset in January. A lot stopped exporting to the EU earlier this year but whether they started again I’m not sure.

“I don’t think it will be as bad this time. But a lot of people have become complacent due to having six months to do the customs declaration. I would envisage sole traders who perhaps drive to Europe themselves being impacted.

“Pre-notification of animal and plant imports will also be pinch points which could affect the food supply chain.”

WHO HAS BENEFITED FROM BREXIT?

Mr White said his firm had had a record year and now employed seven who helped 150 companies trade internationally.

He added: “All the Trade and Co-operation Agreement has done is increase red tape for businesses. There are not really any benefits for those where Europe is their main market.

“I can’t seen any benefits gained for business in the last 11 months. Whether they will come with other trade agreements with other countries, time will tell.”

A customer who traded with Vietnam was benefiting from a free trade agreement with the UK, he added.

Last month, Sheffield MPs warned South Yorkshire could lose £900m in EU funding due to Brexit.

But the Government insisted it would ‘at a minimum’ match it - branding Labour concerns ’unfounded’.

More details of how it will be distributed will be set out ‘in due course’, a spokesman said.

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