Status: 02/24/2021 7:25 p.m.
According to a survey, the movement of goods between the EU and Great Britain will take significantly longer due to Brexit. Experts fear supply barriers and rising prices for consumers.
Since the beginning of this year, delays in trade between the UK and the EU have increased significantly. This comes from a survey by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Distribution (CIBS) released on Wednesday. 350 supply chain managers in the UK were interviewed. Sixty percent of them said it would take longer to move objects back and forth now than they did in January.
Since the new trade agreement came into force, many companies have been complaining about the movement of goods between the island and the continent. For example, there are reports of border waiting hours.
At the beginning of the year, Great Britain left the European Internal Trade and Customs Union. It is true that both parties have agreed in principle on non-obligatory trade in the agreement agreed upon with their labor. Nevertheless, many new restrictions and regulations on borders are necessary, which is a huge burden for many traders.
Fear of “domino effects”
Sixty-three percent of respondents complained of delays of at least two to three days in transporting goods from the continent to Great Britain. Only 38 percent said so in January. The situation with exports from Great Britain is a bit better: 44 per cent said they would accept two to three days longer delivery hours.
In the opinion of almost half of the supply chain managers, the most important factor is the long-term processing by customs officials at the border. “We are now well into the second month of the new contracts. Delays at the border will decrease when inventory levels return to normal, and the hope that customs systems will adjust to new processes has not been fulfilled,” said John Glenn, chief economist at CIBS.
He fears the situation could worsen if the transition period from the UK expires and more import notices are made. “The domino effects of these delays will be manifested by supply chains, which will eventually lead to inventory shortages and higher prices for consumers,” Glenn warned.
Dispute over seafood
Great Britain, meanwhile, is calling on the European Union to ease imports. The country sees the domestic economy being damaged by import restrictions on certain seafood. “There is no scientific or technical justification for the European Commission to ban the import of live bivalve molluscs from Class B water,” a British Environment Ministry spokesman told the German Press.
According to EU classification, mollusks from Type A pure water can be imported into the EU without being pre-cleaned. Importation of certain mussels such as class mussels from Great Britain is prohibited. The reason is that after leaving the EU, food standards and monitoring may vary, and this seafood is particularly sensitive to health. Most British waters are Class B.
“This is already having an impact on companies and damaging markets on both sides of the channel,” a British ministry spokesman stressed. A solution to this problem is urgently needed and the Commission has been invited to meet. According to the Telegraph, possible restrictions on the import of EU products into Great Britain are already being discussed as a reaction in British government circles. However, this was not initially confirmed. Instead the ministry has mentioned the rules for importing EU products into the UK, which may expire later this year. It will continue to be “checked”.
The EU wants to show improvements
The European Union wants to minimize the problems caused by Brexit in trade between itself and Great Britain. “We will see further progress in the implementation of the trade agreement with the United Kingdom,” European Foreign Minister Michael Roth said on a video link with EU colleagues on Tuesday.
At the same time, the Social Democrat politician made it clear that at least some difficulties did not come as a surprise: “Great Britain’s inevitability of leaving the EU and the domestic market was built over 40 years, leading to the breakdown of the relationship we had.”
The European Union most recently accused Great Britain of failing to implement the Brexit agreements. EU Vice President Maros Shefkovic criticized the non-compliance of agreements to restrict the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom. He also criticized the misinformation from traders and the inaccessibility of customs data by EU representatives.