Speaking after news that the Trade and Co-operation Agreement has been ratified by the European Parliament, Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association, said:
“While the ratification of the TCA has removed any lingering doubts, the reality is that the changes within the agreement have been operational now for almost four months.
“Whilst the Government has extended the deadlines of the Border Operating Model, it now needs to address significant unresolved issues such as delayed Customs declarations.
“The experience of our members since January 1st 2021 has clearly shown that large sections of the trading community have not been prepared for the changes in processes brought in by phase one of the Border Operating Model.
“As the trade association that truly represents the UK’s freight forwarding businesses that manage a large proportion of the UK’s visible trade, we continue to express significant concerns regarding phases two and three of the Border Operating Model; and various Government departments have been unable to provide satisfactory answers to many of these.
“Actions speak louder than words and with the TCA now ratified, Government needs to engage extensively with businesses to support them to adjust to the new requirements already in place and to prepare for the new requirements to come, to avoid the ongoing disruption and difficulties which many of our members continue to report.”