Freight freight from France and Germany to Britain is down 50 percent from the same point last year amid post-Brexit unrest at border points and ports, a London-based accounting firm warns.
“The government must now go a step further and explain how this will be resolved,” said Alex Altmann, a partner and head of the Brexit advisory group at Blick Rothenberg.
Some companies that usually ship mountains of goods from abroad to Great Britain by truck, ship and plane are now ‘avoiding’ shipping these items here until they get more clarity from the government on post-Brexit trade practices and costs, Mr. Altmann.
British Ports Association boss Mark Simmonds also revealed to This is Money that the BPA wrote to the government today calling for a crucial set of rules formulated by the EU and enshrined in Britain in law via the Port Services Regulations. are being demolished to ensure that UK ports receive the investment they need to thrive.
Confusion: Reports suggest trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain has been disrupted since the end of the Brexit transition period
Time for a change: the BPA has written to the government calling for the scrapping of the port services regulations
“It is a rational business decision that many freight forwarders are now avoiding routes to the UK and keeping an eye on how the new border situation develops,” said Mr Altmann.
He added: ‘Unfortunately, the British government has not done much to convince the transport sector that they are in control of the situation at the border. It only gets worse from this point on.
“The number of shippers currently refusing routes to the UK is dramatic and will have an impact on our supply chain situation in the coming weeks.
Mr Altmann, who is also Chairman of the UK Chamber of Commerce in Germany, also believes that EU freight forwarders need more guidance on how specific new customs rules work, particularly with regard to domestic deliveries across the Irish Sea.
“The guidance from HM Revenue & Customs is not good enough,” he said.
Mr. Altmann added: ‘The new UK Customs Code says EU companies cannot file import declarations and require an agent to do so.
With a shortage of at least 20,000 customs brokers in the UK, it is not exactly a guarantee for freight forwarders that the new customs border will run smoothly once capacity increases.
“We need updated guidance from HM Revenue & Customs on how this particular issue will be handled.”
Avoid Britain: ‘Many shippers are now avoiding routes to the UK,’ said Alex Altmann, a partner and head of the Brexit advisory group at Blick Rothenberg.
On reports of trade disruption between mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Elizabeth de Jong, a director at Logistics UK, said Friday, “ Problems that have occurred at the GB / NI border are due in part to companies not having a full understanding of the new border requirements for moving goods from and to Northern Ireland. Ireland.
With just five days from the announcement of a new trade deal with the EU to the end of the transition period, some confusion is inevitable, but it is now vital for the government to step up communication with the industry to ensure that loads can are sent with the correct paperwork and returns. ‘
‘We must secure investments for British ports’
Mark Simmonds is the head of the British Ports Association, which represents 86 percent of the UK’s port freight business.
Mr Simmonds has revealed to This is Money that the BPA has written to Secretary of State Robert Courts to convince him that the EU-derived port services regulations will be abolished for good in the not-too-distant future.
The regulations entered into force in Britain in 2019 with the apparent aim of enhancing competition and financial transparency in ports across the EU.
Make those Regs clear: The British Ports Association is calling for the EU-derived Port Services Regulations to be scrapped
The government has previously vowed to remove the regulations from the UK picture book, but the BPA is concerned that this will not happen soon given the current situation with the coronavirus.
The BPA has long campaigned for the abolition of the regulations, claiming that they are not suitable for the UK port network, which, unlike many other countries in the EU, is independent of the state and is ‘fiercely competitive’.
Mr Simmonds argues that the regulations hinder investment in and competition between UK ports.
“The UK policy framework supports ports competing as separate entities, while in the EU it is more common to have that landlord model with competition within an individual port,” he said.
Summarizing how the regulations work, he said, ‘It’s like forcing Costa, Starbucks and Cafe Nero to offer each other’s coffee.
“That might seem reasonable if one of them overwhelmingly dominated everyone else, but there is already competition between them, so there’s no need to.”
Speaking to This is Money, Tim Morris, CEO of the UK Major Ports Group, added: ‘The UK ports sector is unique in Europe in the way it is managed and managed, regardless of the state.
‘An opportunity to place alongside the challenges of the UK’s departure from the EU is to draw up a rulebook suited to the very different circumstances in the UK.
‘This also applies to the withdrawal of the EU Port Services Regulation as soon as possible, with its administrative burden and unnecessary bureaucracy. The UK can and must maintain high standards, but these are consistent with our own port sector. ‘
This is Money has reached out to Parliament Secretary of State Robert Courts for comment.
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