Use the Brexit transition wisely

January 31, 2020 6:10 pm

The United Kingdom leaves the EU at 11pm tonight, leaving just eleven month’s to prepare for the changes to EU trade and new border declarations, which is why are finalising preparations to keep our clients’ European shipments moving when transition ends.

The transition period will last until at least 31st December 2020, during which nothing changes to cross-border trade and while there is an option to extend the transition period for a further two years, that option needs to be exercised by 1st July 2020 and the prime minister has insisted that there will be NO extension.

Existing EU law means that trade talks can’t start until the UK legally leaves the bloc and EU countries have agreed a mandate for the EU Commission to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement on their behalf, so trade talks are unlikely to start before the beginning of March.

European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has already gone on record that it would be “impossible” to reach a comprehensive trade deal in ten months, suggesting the UK will leave at the end of 2020 without a trade agreement.

We recommend that you use this transition period to review your requirements AND our capability to protect your supply chain flows.

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The Government is writing to VAT registered traders, conforming that they will need to make Customs and security declarations after the transition period.

The new EU/UK border declarations are going to be a significant requirement, which is going to be particularly difficult for companies that have only previously traded in Europe.

It is why Unsworth has implemented new IT systems, processes and data flows – that can handle huge numbers of European movements daily – to support the new security and transit requirements and Customs declarations that will follow the end of transition.

Our expectation for the future is:
1. Transition will end on 31st Dec 2020
2. The Free Trade Agreement will not be finalised
3. GATT rules will be adopted to ‘postpone’ tariffs
4. New Customs and security declarations and transit guarantees will commence 1st Jan 2021

We are working actively with our trade association BIFA and HMRC to and will keep you updated as information become available.

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