Understanding Customs Complexity
For any organisation hoping for a last-minute reprieve, customs declarations will be required regardless of whether the UK strikes a free trade deal with the EU. Even companies that opt – and are allowed – to defer import customs declarations for six months must still maintain detailed records of goods brought in. Furthermore, many smaller organisations appear unaware that Brexit affects every import or export with the EU: it will no longer be possible to simply load up and drive to another country to deliver and sell goods without paperwork, or for e-commerce traders to simply post goods to a consumer in Paris or Cologne as if it were Birmingham or Manchester. Customs declarations will be mandatory.
There are essentially two approaches that companies can consider: complete declarations in-house or use an intermediary – a customs broker or freight forwarder – to handle the process. Relying on the latter option, however, could be difficult given the expected huge increase in demand due to Brexit. Government figures suggest that British companies trading with Europe will have to fill in an extra 215 million customs declarations a year post