Half of UK exporters to the EU are struggling with growing bureaucracy and border crossings since the new Brexit rules come into effect.
The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) says 49% of exporters have experienced Brexit problems since the start of the year as they face higher costs due to additional border checks and documentation.
A month after the start of a new UK relationship with the EU, market participants called on the British and European governments to act quickly to fix trade problems.
UK companies are facing additional costs, roundtrip delivery delays, and a slew of new documents. In addition, exporters still do not fully understand which rules apply to whom..
These conclusions were made as the pressure on the government intensified amid difficulties at the borders, as well as warnings that an increase in trade at the end of the year is likely to lead to further problems in the segment.
Trade flows between the UK and the EU fell below normal in January amid Brexit and the pandemic, and after businesses ramped up their stocks in December in preparation for a transition period.
Boris Johnson compared the problems at the borders with «teething», hinting that this period just needs to wait out. However, market participants are convinced that even after the initial complications subside, the cost of doing business will continue to rise..
BCC reported that about a third of companies surveyed found it difficult to adapt to changes in transportation and merchandise trade in the first month of the year.. Only 10% said that Brexit changes did not create any particular difficulties, and 16% of entrepreneurs still find it difficult to answer..
Among the firms directly involved in the export of goods, half reported problems. 51% of manufacturers are not happy with the current situation.
Post-Brexit trade problems hurt the business of the AEV Group, a specialized manufacturer of electrical insulating varnishes and resins that has a factory in Hungary. Jonathan Kemp, the company’s managing director, said the firm may be forced to scale back its UK operations and invest in the EU instead to avoid additional paperwork and costs..
«We export our products all over the world and have been doing this for several years.. The problem with the situation between the EU and the UK is the lack of clarity and willingness regarding mutual trade», – he said.
«For some companies, these problems are existential and go far beyond the simple complexities of the initial stage of the new rules.. Everything can lead to the fact that companies will simply be forced to abandon the sale of their goods and services in the EU. Ministers must do everything they can to address these issues», – considers the CEO of VSS Adam Marshall.