The British government has announced their ambitions to leave the European Union’s custom union and it wants to negotiate a new relationship that will ensure trade is as free of friction as possible.
During its report, ‘Implementing Brexit: Customs’, the institute for government stated the UK government must offer as much certainty as possible to helps businesses plan for the long term with the changes to customs performing a big factor for companies going forward.
An estimated 180,000 traders now operate with the EU and are preparing to make custom declarations for the first time since Brexit. The government is predicting some 200 million declarations will be made this year.
Those declarations will cost between 20 to 45 pounds each, the IfG said, which will give an additional cost of around 4 billion to 9 billion pounds.
“The scale and cost of change for many traders could be significant. Government must engage with them in detail about changes, understanding their requirements and giving them as much time to adapt as possible,” the report added.
The proposition from the government offers two options for the future customs relationship. The first option is through using technology to make the process as smooth as possible; the second a new customs partnership removing the need for a customs border. It wants a transition period after Britain leaves in March 2019 to allow time to adapt.
However, the EU says negotiating the customs relationship must wait until the two sides have made make progress on the rights of expatriates, Britain’s border with EU member Ireland and a financial settlement.