Responding to the Commission’s position paper on customs, Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the BRC said:

“A deal to ensure strong co-operation between the UK and EU on customs policy is crucial to keep goods flowing between the UK and our key European markets in 2019 and beyond.

This is crucial to avoid additional customs requirements, notably on rules of origin and new declarations, which would pose the most significant barrier to the free flow of goods. We will also need a deal on Mutual Recognition Agreements to effectively minimise red tape on goods movements between the UK and the EU post-Brexit.

“However, a customs union in itself won’t solve the problem of delays at ports. To ensure supply chains are not disrupted and goods can continue to move between markets as efficiently as possible, a suite of accompanying deals between the UK and EU are required on security, haulage, transit, drivers and VAT.

“On VAT specifically, we note that the Commission has recognised the need for a supplementary agreement, which is essential given that any new demand for upfront payments of import VAT could cause major cash flow headaches and additional red tape for firms.

“So we encourage the Commission and the UK Government to reach agreement as soon as possible to ensure the fewest barriers as possible to the free flow of goods in the years after 2019.” 



Read the BRC's Customs Roadmap