Almost a third of importers remain unprepared for Brexit customs checks

With significant new customs arrangements set to be introduced on imports from the EU from 1 January 2022, 3 in 10 importers admit they are “not at all prepared” for the changes, according to a survey of nearly 600 business leaders by the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The new rules mean that companies will no longer be able to delay making import customs declarations for EU goods, and will instead have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import. Notice of imports of food, drink and products of animal origin will also be needed to be given in advance.

Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “In under 3 weeks’ time, significant changes to our customs arrangements are going to be introduced, for which a large portion of businesses are either unprepared or simply unaware. This will exacerbate existing supply chain problems, leading to further congestion at ports, as well as extra costs from accidental non-compliance for many businesses.

“Government needs to ramp up an awareness and advertising campaign around these changes, simplifying the guidance, so that all importing businesses feel confident they know how to keep supplies flowing into the new year.”

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