Peter MacSwiney, chairman, Agency Sector Management, examines how companies can prepare their supply chains for Brexit
As the new October Brexit deadline moves closer, the prospect of disruption to the global supply chain and logistics industry is quickly becoming a reality.
For companies that are reliant on airfreight for just-in-time deliveries, the uncertainty is increasing, especially with the possibility of a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU).
Despite the gloomy outlook, there are ways to start planning for Brexit to ensure we are prepared, and the supply chains keep moving after 31st October, regardless of a deal or no-deal Brexit.
The first thing to consider when preparing for Brexit is that if one part of the supply chain stops functioning, then it has a knock-on effect to all other parties involved.
For example, additional customs requirements for air cargo could result in increased trucking congestion at airports and delays to goods being delivered by road, so even companies that aren’t directly involved in air cargo would still be affected.
Secondly, we should encourage customers to apply for Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), which is available for any port or airport where goods are being brought in from the EU.
TSP is being introduced by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to allow businesses to defer full import declarations until a later date, which could help the flow of goods to keep moving post-Brexit.
Finally, be prepared to collaborate and work with others because change is coming, whether we like it or not.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the same procedures will be applied to EU trade that currently apply to the rest of the world, meaning overnight changes to trade and a huge increase in the number of declarations for imports and exports.
In the world of freight forwarding, we all rely on each other to keep the air cargo supply chain moving, and by working together we can ensure this period of transition and change is as smooth as possible.