The clock is ticking as we near the March Brexit deadline, and it seems every day brings a new, flip-flopping perspective in both the trade and national media. Geoff Ricketts, Director of Freightabase featured logistics company, Ricketts Freight, has weighed in with the knowledge and insight himself and the team have gained from their years of experience in the trade.
Whilst we are all unaware of the outcome of Brexit, I must be one of a number of people who remain confident that the freight industry can cope with whatever outcome arises.
With some of us remembering a time when we manually typed T forms, C273’s and C11D’s, anything that is decided will be a breeze compared with the arduous task of the dreaded TIR carnet without a single mistake – seven pages, all identical: no backspace then.
Internet and email are commonplace, and I am positive that HMRC will ensure everything is digitalised, meaning as long as the necessary certificates and procedures are in place there will be a smooth transition. Even with a no deal scenario, I am sure that the Framing Manufacturer in Spain who sells to the UK at the moment will still be able to sell his goods to the UK. All that I can see that will happen, is that there will be a charge implemented for the additional red tape through the HMRC online system. Companies who import will be responsible for duty and VAT on arrival just like in the good old days, and a deferment account will be set up so that balances can be paid at source.
It is my opinion that with competition in transport being so great across Europe, hauliers will still want to bring the goods into the UK and will accept a customs-cleared rate from A to B to maintain their business. Alternatively, importers will have to pay for their own customs clearance. The biggest problem I can foresee with this, is that multi-consignment groupages arriving into the UK will have to all be diligently accounted for by HMRC, with taxes and VAT to be paid at the point of entry. As a result, hauliers could then face delays upon arrival into the UK through just one importer. To combat this potential for upset, HMRC must implement a grace period whereby importers have a small window to declare such goods and pay duties where applicable.
We at Geoff Ricketts Freight are working to be able to assist our customers in any way, whatever the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations. It is a very difficult situation because nobody knows exactly what the outcome will be. No deal, and we could all be faced with lengthy delays as HMRC are unable to cope with the sudden influx of red tape. Or, we could all just carry on regardless – who knows?
Whatever the outcome, Ricketts Freight are ready, willing and able to tackle the future.
Geoff Ricketts, Director, Ricketts Freight