Supply Chain Management

Brexit - Changed customs regulations and impact on logistics

Almost two months have passed since the end of the Brexit transition period. A brief review: On 24th December, the EU and the United Kingdom agreed on a trade and cooperation agreement ( after months of negotiations. As a result, the British will no longer be part of the EU internal market and the EU customs union as of 1st January 2021. In the run-up to this date, the impending changes had already led to chaos at British ports because many companies had tried to fill their warehouses before the end of the transition period.

How has the movement of goods changed in the last two months?

At the beginning of the year, therewas no major chaos, but what followed was reduced goods traffic. As reported bythe German Business News Magazine WirtschaftsWoche (,instead of 5,000 to 6,000 trucks, only about 2,000 have crossed the channel onferries. According to the report, about one fifth of all incoming trucks werereturned due to faulty or defective papers. Furthermore, there have beenproblems with the export of foodstuffs. The transport of fish partly had to be stopped completely becausenumerous additional papers, such as health certificates and customsdeclarations, delayed the transport. Furthermore, DB Schenker and the parcelservice dpd had suspended transports in the meantime(

Changed customs regulations and more bureaucracy

With Brexit also customs relationshave changed. Customs and import declarations are now required for all goodsimported from the UK into the EU and vice versa. High costs and long waitingtimes at border crossings arise especially when different types of goods aretransported. By the way, the exemption of duty applies only if the goodsoriginate in the EU or UK (as the exporting country). This means, the goodsfirst need to comply withthe appropriate rules of origin. If they do not meet the rules of originrequirements or if it cannot be proven that they do, custom duties will stillbe due.

Now one could ask why all thisadditional effort is necessary at all despite the trade agreement. Since the UKis no longer in the EU internal market and the EU customs union, there is nolonger any obligation for the country to comply with EU standards. Besides, theUK can now conclude independent trade agreements. More controls anddocumentation efforts are therefore intended to ensure that quality standardsare met and that goods are not imported into the EU via the UK without payingcustoms duty.

The Brexit problem with Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland posed anotherproblem for the Brexit deal. In order to avoid a hard border between Irelandand Northern Ireland, special regulations apply to Northern Ireland with the“Northern Ireland Protocol”. This means, in contrast to the rest of the UK, theregulations of the EU internal market will continue to apply to the Britishprovince. This avoids the hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland butcreates a new goods border with the rest of the United Kingdom instead.

The new procedures have causedmajor delays, with the result that some foodstuffs could no longer be deliveredto Northern Ireland and empty supermarket shelves followed. From April, afterthe end of the three-month transition period, the regulations will be tightenedeven further. However, according to the BBC, Britain has already asked the EUfor an extension of grace period until 2023.;jsessionid=2A765EE433CA95B6123EE027242B765D.internet402

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