ASM calls for more transparency on Brexit trade and Customs plans as discussions grind to a halt

Agency Sector Management (ASM) is urging more transparency on government trade and Customs Brexit plans, as talks seem to have stalled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is set to leave the European Union (EU) on the 31st December and the logistics industry, already under pressure due to the coronavirus crisis, feels it has been left in limbo as the clock ticks down. 

Some trade bodies are calling for Brexit to be delayed due to the impact that Covid-19 is having on business. 

“While there is still a feeling that it won’t happen, despite a very clear message from the government that 1st January 2021 is the date and it won’t move, people don’t believe it,” said Peter MacSwiney,  ASM Chairman.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is having a big effect, as at present there are no meaningful discussions going on. 

“There have been no in-depth discussions about the position we have reached  and industry needs to know where we stand, as there is much to go through."

 

Peter MacSwiney

 

Since the Covid-19 crisis caused shutdowns in March, discussions on trade and Customs seem to have ground to a halt, leaving the freight supply chain in the dark. 

MacSwiney is not aware of any meaningful conversations being held – despite various sub-group meetings raising issues – and said there is no information coming out of government on when formal discussions will resume. 

As face-to-face meetings are prohibited due to Covid-19, every discussion has turned into a bilateral debate, MacSwiney said, which has led to only one opinion being heard.  

The new post-Brexit Border Systems Model, which includes the physical infrastructure and systems for the new border, that was set to be published at the end of March has also been delayed.

“I have no real idea why the release has been delayed, apparently it’s still a work in progress,” MacSwiney said. 

HMRC announced earlier this month it was extending the payment period for traders to pay import Duty/VAT in light of Covid-19, a decision welcomed by MacSwiney.

"This is really helpful for businesses of all sizes and will help keep the ports moving," he said.

“I have no real idea why the release has been delayed, apparently it’s still a work in progress,” MacSwiney said.

HMRC announced earlier this month it was extending the payment period for traders to pay import Duty/VAT in light of Covid-19, a decision welcomed by MacSwiney.

"This is really helpful for businesses of all sizes and will help keep the ports moving," he said.


• support: (t) 01784 240400 (e) helpdesk@asm.org.uk
• sales: (t) 01784 242200 (e) sales@asm.org.uk