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Freight Transport Association : National Audit Office

Freight Transport Association : National Audit Office

The Freight Transport Association, or the FTA, has reacted to the publication of the National Audit Office report which explores the Customs Declaration Service programme. The Association has noted a number of concerning points in the report such how far the project has progressed and how suitable the Customs programme is going to be when the levels of declarations increase across British ports after Britain leaves the European Union.

The FTA is very well known as the largest membership association in the UK logistics sector. The Association is also the most influential membership association in this sector. The FTA has expressed concerns over the new Customs Declaration Service which is currently being explored by the HMRC. The FTA are unsure that the new system will be able to operate successfully with the expected increase of Customs declarations by 255 million after Brexit.

There is expected to be two months in between the implementation of the Customs Declaration Service and Brexit, therefore it is important for everyone that the planned operations are up and running smoothly before the significant increase of Customs declarations across the ports in Britain. The National Audit Office has consistently recommended stress tests for the system that could thoroughly test that the system would be able to cope with the capacity of declarations after Brexit. A lack of information in this regard from the Government is concerning and can lead to avoidable uncertainty for businesses in Britain. Any uncertainty at the moment needs to be avoided wherever possible for British businesses in order to keep trading conditions level and the economy stable.

It has been estimated that more than 180,000 companies will be using the Customs Declarations Service as part of trade between the EU and the UK. With such a large number of businesses utilising this service that is being developed by the HMRC, the Government need to make sure that the programme is working as efficiently as possible and supported by the whole government, receiving all of the assistance necessary to make the introduction as successful as possible.

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