Freight none the wiser about Brexit impact warns BIFA

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The British International Freight Association (BIFA) says freight forwarders are none the wiser about how Brexit will impact freight following Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

The association’s director general, Robert Keen says though the speech has delivered some clarity on plans to leave the single market and her desire for a ‘tariff-free and frictionless trade’ but remains short on details to assist members going about their business.

Following the vote, BIFA warned that many issues would affect trade and the work of its members, and Keen says: “BIFA is hoping that the government has a fundamental understanding of all of the possible permutations and challenges in regards to our future trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world, post membership of the EU.”

He continues: “Freight forwarding executives are none the wiser on the actual mechanics of Britain’s future trading relationships and how they might affect the freight forwarding sector.”

“Will Customs reintroduce EU transaction border controls? Will the replacement for CHIEF go ahead and will the new system be able to handle the millions of extra transactions? How will controls on dual use items be managed?”

Though May says she wants to maintain common travel arrangements between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, but Keen asks how freight will be managed between the two countries.

Keen adds: “What our members need from Government is some answers to those questions. As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details. And after today’s much anticipated speech, much of the real detail is missing.”