The United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) has greeted the HMRC’s planned new Customs Declaration Service with a cautious welcome. According to UKWA’s CEO Peter Ward, the impact of Brexit on customs regulations is of huge concern to members and is high on the association’s agenda.
“There is considerable confusion among import/export businesses as to what lies ahead,” he said. “We welcome the introduction of the new CDS to replace the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import & Export Freight) system, which is desperately outdated and already creaking at the seams, but we need reassurances from the government that the new system will cope with the estimated 200 million extra customs entries that will result from Brexit. It is imperative that we know when and how it will be launched. Arguably, this single most important issue will affect all our lives – it is critical, not just for businesses, but for everyone who depends on the seamless flow of goods into and out of our country, that we get this right.”
Ward challenged the ‘frictionless, uninterrupted trade’ vaunted by the Prime Minister, insisting that the necessary recording of data and collecting of duties and taxes relating to all UK import/export movements post-Brexit will make a smooth transition impossible.