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UK backs down on using strict customs checks after Brexit

 

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EC President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters

EC President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters

EC President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters

The UK government backed down on plans to impose full border controls immediately after Brexit in an attempt to avoid piling an additional burden on businesses already struggling with the impact of coronavirus.

For the first half of next year, most firms moving goods into Britain will have six months to file customs declarations and pay any tariffs due whether the UK and the EU reach a trade deal or not.

"This would be welcome news for many businesses, which simply aren't ready for chaotic changes with our biggest trading partner at the end of the year," said Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry.

The new policy was announced after Britain and the EU agreed to step up the pace of their trade negotiations following months of deadlock. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will hold a call on June 15 aimed at injecting momentum into the talks.

Businesses had been struggling to recruit a fraction of the 50,000 customs agents the transport industry says are necessary to prevent snarl-ups at the country's ports once Britain leaves the bloc's single market and customs union. Without enough agents, goods travelling to and from the EU are at risk of being delayed at ports.

Sunday Indo Business