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2nd February 2021

Supply chains increasingly caught up in EU trading confusion says Chambers Wales

The organisation has been receiving hundreds of queries a day from businesses across Wales who are struggling to interpret the new arrangement, with an increasing number of queries coming from further down the supply and logistics chain.

From the need for additional paperwork, increasing compliance costs, to new requirements around rules of origin and tariffs, the extra hurdles are all adding to the vulnerability of supply chains of many industries.

Just one month into the new arrangement, the confusion is already causing frustration, delays and even leading to some goods simply being abandoned.

Jo Price said “Since 1st January we have been dealing with hundreds of queries a day from businesses who are struggling to interpret the new trading arrangement. The agreements are complex; with businesses and logistics companies interpreting them differently there has been a lot of confusion over the requirements to move goods into and through the EU.

“Businesses are having really specific challenges around their shipments with customs officers at borders stopping the shipment to request pieces of paperwork that the company has not prepared, leaving them stuck. Many businesses are unsure where to go for clear, consistent advice.”

Some of the frequently asked questions relate to: Commodity Codes and how to work out the duty, Anti-Dumping Duty, Preference Rules of Origin, Incoterms and T1 Shipping Notes. Businesses that have previously traded outside of the EU will be familiar with many of these are requirements, but for those operating solely within the EU, this is completely new territory.

It is thought that a great deal of confusion is stemming from customs and border control agents still getting to grips with the new rules themselves. The adjustment time for businesses and borders to be ready for the new operating arrangements has been very short with a deal coming late in December after many businesses had closed for the festive break.

Businesses in Wales are now looking for a clear path to recovery following the economic downturn intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic; international trade, both export and import is vital to the survival and growth of many communities and businesses.

Chambers Wales curates end-to-end, tailor-made international trading solutions for the public and private sector and will handhold businesses through every step of the trading process to get their goods moving. It runs a series of accredited and industry recognised International Trade practical training courses for those trading within the EU and globally.

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