UK ports begin life under new trading rules

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Ports in the UK have started the New Year under new rules with thousands of additional staff being deployed to help mitigate potential delays. 

As of the 1st January, traders now must meet full customs requirements including submitting declarations, paying VAT and exercise duty and also submitting new notifications surrounding animal products. 

This next phase of the UK’s departure from the European Union and Single Market is a big step for ports and businesses alike and marks the end of the transitional period for most firms. 

Chief executive of the British Ports Association, Richard Ballantyne, commented on the shift that: “This is another milestone for those involved in trade between Britain and Europe and we are hopeful importers will be ready to follow the new rules. There has been a huge amount of hard work from industry and government preparing new systems and processes, which have been developed at some pace. We are optimistic that these new arrangements will work although do expect there to be a small degree of teething difficulties.”

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He continued: “That said, in terms of physical activities, much of the customs processes are relatively straightforward. Most UK ports with European trade are therefore more focused on the introduction of checks on animal and plant-based products at Border Control Posts, next July. This is where there will be significant changes to borders processes with the likelihood of interventions, delays and even extras costs for British importers.”

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