The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has welcomed today’s announcement that the timeframe for introduction of further border controls has been reviewed by Government and extended, allowing businesses more time to prepare for the challenges ahead.
UKWA CEO Peter Ward commented, “We are delighted that the Government has listened to feedback from our sector and responded positively to calls from UKWA and our peer trade associations to review the scheduled timetable for phased introduction of controls on imports from the EU into Great Britain.”
Following a survey of UKWA members, and the Prime Minister’s announcement of the roadmap for the release of lockdown restrictions, UKWA, along with peer trade associations, advised the government of significant concerns over preparedness for further changes to trade and customs requirements in April and July coinciding with the planned recovery.
UKWA’s survey on the impacts of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and introduction of new customs and border procedures from 1st January confirmed that members had experienced delays in despatch and intake of orders to and from the European Union. Many reported backlogs as a result and had been affected by ‘double duty’, while over half of respondents said they had lost business and had seen transfer of warehousing and distribution activity to the European Union.
“Warehouse and logistics operators are still coming to grips with the impact of the changes that came into effect from January,” Ward said. “We have highlighted the impact of increased volumes expected from pent-up consumer demand as lockdown restrictions are lifted, and raised significant concerns over preparedness for further changes to trade and customs requirements being introduced at the same time”.
“UKWA stands ready”, he concluded, “to continue working with government to ensure the proposed changes are rolled out successfully, with minimum disruption to business and risk to employment”.