Many British businesses are not preparing for changes to Customs procedures post Brexit, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted jointly by the British Chambers of Commerce and the Port of Dover, questioned over 835 businesses from across the UK that import or export and found that over a third (36%) of traders rely on just-in-time deliveries for their business needs, but that many of these businesses have not started planning for changes to Customs procedures.
Nearly 29% of companies surveyed believe that Brexit will have an impact on administration, costs or operations but one in three of these businesses have no plans in place to address any changes that may result following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
The report also highlighted that around a third of the UK’s trade in goods crosses the English Channel in lorries via the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, emphasising how essential fluidity in the supply chain along this busy trade route is.
Dover alone handles 17% of UK international trade; a staggering £122 billion of goods and 2.6 million freight vehicles a year.
“There is no substitutable capacity elsewhere that can handle the type of goods and volume that Dover does. For the sake of UK plc, it is vital that fluidity at Dover and throughout the supply chain is maintained.” said Richard Christian, Head of Policy & Communications.
Although 67% of respondents said their business is unlikely to move operations to a different UK Port in the next three years, 30% did state that the infrastructure leading to and from ports is not meeting their business needs.
Prime minister Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out remaining in the EU single market after Brexit, but clearer information on what types of checks will be needed at the border is still not available.
“While a lot remains to be agreed about the nature of the future trading relationship with the EU, the UK government has made clear its intention to leave the Customs Union. Firms need to know what checks and declarations they will have to go through on trade with the EU and need to start planning for the changes ahead” commented Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, Adam Marshall.
“Understandably, the lack of certainty over the terms of the final settlement with the EU makes it hard to plan with confidence, but businesses shouldn’t be complacent about preparing for new processes under different scenarios. The businesses most likely to be impacted by change at the border must start thinking through the consequences for their supply chains.”
To start planning your Post-Brexit supply chain needs, why not begin by consulting our Velta Brexit survival guide for some handy supply chain tips.