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Brexit: new import controls for British businesses


British businesses will be subject to new border import controls from January 1, a post-Brexit measure affecting companies that globally buy every year for 277 billion euros (398.66 billion Canadian dollars) of goods within the European Union.

The UK left the single market in early 2021, but staged and delayed the introduction of a full customs border, as the EU immediately imposed controls on goods.

From January 1, 2022, businesses in EU member countries exporting goods or food to the UK will need to provide full customs certificates. Buyers will have to prove that the goods are allowed to enter duty free under the rules of origin.

Martin McTague, vice chairman of the Federation of British Small Businesses (FSB), warned that the entry into force of import controls was likely to cause significant disruption as trade is already plagued by trade problems. supply and labor shortages due in part to COVID-19.

The UK’s departure from the world’s largest trading bloc has already had an impact on UK exports to Europe, with the re-establishment of red tape that requires companies to fill out lengthy documents and pay cross-border travel fees. .

Large companies have adapted to the changes, including recruiting additional staff to cope with administrative constraints, but SMEs are facing difficulties, especially in handling small shipments of food and clothing that are no longer financially viable.

Veterinary checks for food imports have been postponed to July. Customs declarations between Northern Ireland and Great Britain have also been delayed to allow further discussions with the EU on trade terms.

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