The UK Chamber of Shipping has welcomed proposals for customs arrangements that could be implemented after the UK’s departure from the European Union, which were published today in a new paper from the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).
The ‘Future Customs Arrangements’ report, which can be read here, argues that the UK could either seek a “highly streamlined” customs arrangement with the EU or else strike a new, bespoke deal. It also suggests that a transitional period should follow Brexit, before a final deal is struck that would follow existing procedures as closely as possible.
Both the UK and EU Member States would benefit from time to fully implement the new customs arrangements and would work in “close association”, the report states.
Guy Platten, CEO of UK Chamber of Shipping, said:
“We consider the launch of the ‘Future Customs Arrangements’ paper to be a significant step forward in providing reassurance to British and European businesses, and the shipowners that facilitate their trade.
“We are pleased to see more detail on the specific measures the UK Government wishes to develop, and we particularly welcome plans for a temporary customs union that are broadly in line with what industry has called for.
“We agree that there can be a greater role for technology in the future, but given their core proposal will be beholden to European agreement we urgently need them to develop a plan to make use of powers that already reside with the UK Government, namely investment in road infrastructure around major ports and the recruitment of significant numbers of people to undertake any additional customs checks that may in the future be required.
“It is now incumbent on the European Commission to work constructively with the UK Government, to not just dismiss these interesting proposals but rather recognise that reaching a meaningful agreement is in their own economic interests too, and that the jobs and prosperity of EU citizens are in part reliant on a healthy trading relationship with the UK.”