Brexit news: nightmare as European bureaucracy risks crippling small businesses – urgent warning issued | Politics | New
The latest research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned most UK small importers who will feel the force of the new customs controls are not yet fully prepared for their introduction in just one month. The complete customs declaration for EU goods may be deferred at the point of arrival. But that changes from January 1, 2022, when mountains of paperwork will need to be processed ahead of time, and food, drink and animal products import notice given in advance.
There are only four weeks left before these changes take effect, and new research from the FSB has warned that only a quarter (25%) of small importers who will be affected, and are currently aware of the changes, are ready for them to take effect.
Sixteen percent of the 128 importers surveyed in the last report warned that they had not been able to prepare for the introduction of the new customs controls in the current climate.
That number more than doubled to 33% for those who said they were not aware of their implementation before the FSB study, but will also be affected by them.
In the third quarter of this year (July to September), total imports from the EU to the UK jumped £ 2.2% to a total value of £ 57.7 billion, according to the latest data from the National Statistics Office (ONS).
But in the same three-month period, the country’s trade deficit has grown worryingly to a whopping – £ 3.9 billion.
FSB National President Mike Cherry said it was “understandable” that so few small importers were prepared for the impending changes, based on the number of crises they have had to deal with over the past 18 months.
But he insisted there was still time to rectify that, offering advice on a number of steps companies can take to ease the pain.
Mr Cherry said: “Given the unrest of the past 18 months, new concerns about the spread of Covid, and this being the busiest time of the year for many, it is understandable that few companies are fully prepared for the introduction of import controls from January.
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Mr Cherry added: “We urge the government to do everything possible to raise awareness, with our support, through all channels available to it in a climate where many small businesses simply do not have the money or the band. busy to manage this new bureaucracy.
“Too little support was made possible by the first iteration of the Brexit SME Support Fund due to eligibility criteria and tight application deadlines.
“Policymakers should learn from this process and launch a new fund, with the same goal of helping existing international businesses with growing administrations and inspiring new ones, but with a truly global focus.
“We recently had the popular launch of the Export Support Service.
“What we need now, as these striking numbers show, is an import support service to give businesses the advice and information they need to successfully navigate global trade as it happens. measure of its evolution. “
The FSB interviewed 128 importers between September 21 and October 1, 2021.