Firms seek financial support to combat customs chaos


10th February 2021

Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the Government to move immediately to work with its European partners to find an urgent solution to the current long border delays caused by complex paperwork.

His is the view of the manufacturers’ organisation, Make UK, after it carried out a survey showing that 60% of companies have been experiencing significant disruption since the end of the transition period on 1 January.

Make UK research further revealed that 61% of businesses are enduring supply chain disruption importing or exporting to and from the EU and 32% are having their supply chains impacted in both directions.

“The impact of the EU-UK agreement on UK manufacturers” can be found at

It argues that Customs paperwork urgently needs to be simplified on both sides of the border, so it can be completed and checked quickly before haulage journeys begin and companies can be reassured that their goods have a clear run to the end customer.

“Government should fast track the training of good quality customs agents to smooth the flow at the border,” Make UK suggests. “In tandem, exporters and hauliers should be encouraged by Government to work with industry to smooth out the current problems as much as possible.”

It highlights that some companies are finding the burden of proving origin so onerous that they are choosing to pay the tariffs rather than spend the additional time and money attempting to qualify for tariff free access.

Make UK Chief Executive, Stephen Phipson, points to another area of difficulty.

“The deal as it stands also fails to provide for mutual recognition of professional qualifications which will pose a very significant problem for many industries as movement of key personnel to carry out work in the EU will much more restricted,” he explains.

This means that, if a company wants to send a service engineer to repair a piece of equipment delivered from a UK company as part of the maintenance contract, they may not be able to carry out the service, as their UK qualifications will not be recognised.

Published by Croner-I - 5/2/2021

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