Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report out today on the readiness of HMRC for a new customs IT system in 2019, William Bain, Policy Advisor – Europe and International at the BRC said:
“This report makes for stark reading for businesses and consumers who are dependent on moving goods quickly between the UK and the rest of Europe. It confirms data that a no deal Brexit would mean a fivefold increase in the number of customs declarations, with 132,000 companies facing the red tape of declarations for the first time. The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee appears yet to be convinced about HMRC’s state of readiness for the introduction of the new Customs Declarations System (CDS) in early 2019, and has recommended additional investment in the current customs IT system (CHIEF) to provide the UK with a viable back-up option should there be problems with CDS just as we are about to leave the EU.
“Only four per cent of UK firms making customs declarations are “trusted traders”, with less red tape on the movement of goods, far below the numbers in Germany. This supports the BRC’s recommendation to broaden and deepen the scheme for UK businesses as well as securing mutual recognition with that in the EU on Brexit.”