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Brexit blog

A possible trade deal in sight

Oct 6, 2020 9:34:30 AM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, Logistics, Trade, Supply Chain, Preparations, European Union, Free Trade Agreement

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Round 9 of negotiations between the UK and the EU on Future Relations took place in Brussels this week. Perhaps a possible deal could be in sight?

After a period of stand-still, there are now signs and (in confidence confirmed) rumours of a breakthrough on trade could happen. There are still differences in fisheries and level playing field, while the trade agreement discussions are close to finalization.

There might be a landing zone possible before the critical EU Council meeting on 15-16 October, when a deal must be agreed to have time to secure ratification in 27+1 parliaments before the end of the year.

The deal discussed – and this is still confidential information from inside the negotiation teams - is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), larger than a ”thin agreement” as mentioned before. So more product chapters included.

There is still a way to go and a lot of political craftsmanship is needed to make the deal. My estimation is that we have moved from 40/60 to 60/40 percent chance of a deal on trade being made.

Having said that, remember that a potential UK-EU FTA has no impact on the border procedures and formalities between the EU and UK. The UK Border Operating Model and the EU UCC demands declarations, supplementary documentation and a range of other obligations on traders (as on all EU third country imports and exports) will be implemented regardless of a deal or not.

A potential FTA will remove some of the customs duties that otherwise will be due in the trade between EU-UK. It is also important to note that while a potential FTA (the deal) is agreed it does remove tariffs for some products, but it also adds customs complexity concerning Rules of Origin, Valuation, restrictions and several other areas. Another area that will be impacted, from a border process perspective, is the NIP (trade GB-NI).

On the UK Border Operating Model (BOM) there are also some signs related to infrastructure that are worrying. As you know, exports from the UK and import to the EU will have to be pre-lodged before the transport reaches the border. There will be inland border posts where a truck will have to show that the customs declarations have been lodged correctly before the transports are allowed to approach the border, like e.g. the EuroTunnel or Dover Port for Ro-Ro. Same for other ports.

The infrastructure to handle this process is delayed. The Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS) that is under development to send a release note to transports will only be in tests in December. Also, the time frame to produce the physical infrastructure for the inland control posts, parking places etc have been questioned. The transit system is not well implemented yet, so there are few authorised consignors/consignees and guarantee facilities. For the Northern Ireland Protocol (WA NIP) there are an awarded Trader Support Service (TSS) under construction that will help traders sending goods GB-NI, however again the work has started late and there are some doubts on what can be ready for January 1st. There is a similar approach on the EU side, but the border facilities are to a larger extent in place.

Overall, preparations are now possible and must be done by all traders. It is also recommended to develop different plans for different scenarios. All companies Brexit preparations should be put to a test to map any gaps concerning the procedures and processes now announced. There will be border queues initially. It is also important to decide if to use the simplified procedure initially and if so how to handle compliance issues related to the delayed declaration of goods. Many companies have decided to implement the final border procedure, that will be obligatory from July 1st, already from January 1st to avoid risks and changes to internal processes and systems two times instead of one.

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This is what Brexit will look like. Are you a Brexit winner?

Jun 16, 2020 10:11:59 AM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, Trade, Preparations, Declarations, European Union, Free Trade Agreement

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We are now only two hundred days away from the end of the Brexit transition period. Before the weekend, the UK Government formally told the European Union (EU) that there will be no request for an extension of the transition period and that the UK will leave the EU also in practice on December 31st 2020. Which leaves the private sector involved in international trade between the UK and the EU with only months to prepare. Not a long time and this is a race nobody wants to lose.

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UK has left the building

Feb 1, 2020 7:47:09 PM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, UK Customs Academy, Preparations, Declarations, Training, AEO

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Brexit is done. What now?

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Soon Brexit is done – and the next phase of Brexit starts!

Jan 27, 2020 11:17:52 AM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, Trade, Preparations

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The Brexit process continues to move forward towards Friday, January 31st 23:00 GMT. On Friday this week, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union after 46 years as a member.

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Brexit – what to do now?

Jan 14, 2020 3:33:42 PM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, UK Customs Academy, Preparations, Declarations, Training, HMRC

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A short summary of the latest progress and suggestions on actions to take for UK traders.

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London Calling – what happens on January 31st?

Jan 8, 2020 6:58:48 PM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, UK Customs Academy, Preparations

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This week the United Kingdom and the European Union are meeting in London to re-start the talks and the negotiations about post-Brexit future relations. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting Ursula von der Leyen in Downing Street in their first face-to-face talks since she succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker. The EU main negotiator Michel Barnier is also in London for these talks, for the first time taking place in the United Kingdom – a significant and symbolic change of what we have in front of us. 

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My Post-Brexit Analysis:  Time to conquer new space

Dec 30, 2019 1:26:46 PM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, Preparations, Smart Borders, AEO

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On January 31st 2020 the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. After a transition period of eleven months, the UK leaves the EU Customs territory and the Customs Union.

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Brexit: With 27 days to go, is a deal possible?

Oct 4, 2019 9:51:59 AM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, Logistics, Trade, Preparations

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What does Boris Johnson's proposal mean from a Customs perspective?

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UK Customs Academy is a landmark capacity building institution showing the way to the future

Sep 20, 2019 8:12:50 AM / by Lars Karlsson posted in Brexit, Customs, UK Customs Academy, Trade, Preparations, Training, HMRC

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On Wednesday September 18th UK Government, the Treasury (FST) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officially launched the UK Customs Academy at an event at the House of Commons in Westminister, London.

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Introducing the UK Customs Academy

Aug 26, 2019 3:53:27 PM / by Steve Cock posted in Brexit, Customs, UK Customs Academy, Preparations

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In these turbulent Brexit times, the new UK Customs Academy offers a unique opportunity to prepare for the future trading environment. Sign up for the webinar on September 5 and learn how the UK Customs Academy can help you to increase your knowledge of customs and international trade.

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