UKWA (the United Kingdom Warehousing Association) has welcomed the package of measures recently announced by the government to support the expansion of the customs brokerage sector ahead of the UK leaving the EU in March 2019.
The measures include a one-off investment of £8 million to support broker training and increased automation within the sector.
Peter Ward, UKWA’s CEO, commented: “We are delighted that the government has been listening to the logistics industry and has responded positively with targeted investment to train the additional resources required. However, we note that this is being positioned as a ‘Day One, No Deal’ measure, but UKWA is impressing on government that this action is necessary on a sustainable basis, whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations.”
The new package will include the creation and delivery of new training courses and materials for customs brokers, a grant scheme to support intermediaries and/or traders with the upfront costs of training their employees and a further grant scheme to support investment in automation to support smaller intermediaries who currently rely on manual data input in setting up IT systems to complete customs declarations.
UKWA has worked closely alongside HMRC over recent months, providing expert advice and feedback to various cross-departmental committees. And the Association has been vocal in highlighting the potential crisis at UK borders, given the likelihood that an additional 200 million frontier declarations will be required post-Brexit.
“UKWA is consulting with government and providing feedback from our members on all issues associated with Brexit that affect the industry. By supplying the necessary detail we hope that we are helping to enable coherent and effective policies to be formulated,” said Peter Ward.
He added: “UKWA is here to help government understand the perspective of the industry on the real impact that Brexit is likely to have, particularly on supply chain delays and surging warehouse demand.
“In the meantime, we are advising our members to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and urging the 300,000 business that currently trade with the EU to classify goods per UCC (Unified Customs Code) and apply for deferment accounts and find partners and a trade association that can help them to prepare for the future.”
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