Many companies have already implemented technical issues published by the Government yesterday but more help is needed regarding customs regimes


The technical papers published by the Government regarding importing and exporting from the UK are already being put in place by traders worried about the impact that Brexit may have on their importing and exporting procedures.

“The papers are welcome, but are an endorsement to what many traders have been putting in place over the last few months,” says partner Simon Sutcliffe.

He added: “Much of the advice and comment has been put in motion by companies who have not waited for the government but sought commercial advice on how they should act.

“For the last few months we have advised traders to adopt many of the recommendations now put forward by HMG in these papers and these include:
  • Ensuring goods are correctly and accurately classified
  • Negotiating contracts where possible to ensure the best possible international trading and commercial terms
  • Ensuring that INCOTERMS (international Shipping Terms) are the most favourable they can be
  • Putting imported items into a suspension regime or utilising the existing customs regimes such as Temporary Admission, customs warehousing and Inward Processing
  • Engaging the assistance of suitable customs brokers, freight forwarders and agents.

“Helpfully, the UK will seek initially to mirror the existing tariff as proposed in the Taxation (Cross Border Trade) Bill. Therefore, current preferences and agreements should continue in the short to medium term."

He added: "The papers state that most traders who currently trade with the EU will have to become familiar with the import and export procedures, as if they are now dealing with a third country. However, more detail, other than advising upon engaging with a customs broker and - helpful but - brief summaries such as the need to consider classification and customs regimes is required.

“The decision to create a Independent Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) to ensure claims of unfair competition and unfair trading practices are investigated is very helpful and hopefully it will be as punitive and robust (if not more so) than its EU or WTO equivalents.”