Customs specialism – even more important in the face of uncertainty

22nd March 2019

The clock is ticking and with time running out before the Brexit deadline the only certainty is that there will be continued unease in the coming weeks. With UK Parliament deeply divided and still no final confirmation on what Brexit will look like, one of the biggest questions remains the state of border controls after March 29th and how that will impact logistics.

So, what is the most likely customs scenario post-Brexit and what can be done to minimise the risk of delays?

The most likely scenario at the moment appears to be a customs border being implemented between the UK and the rest of Europe. With this will come additional checks which will slow down transport for impromptu shipments, potentially adding lengthy delays to already stretched
supply chains.

Minimising the risk of delays will require in-depth customs knowledge and experience. Logistics providers will need to fully understand the implications, whether it be from a time, cost or resource point of view, and ensure there are measures in place to deal with them.

Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding it will make it all the more important for logistics companies to show proficiency and offer their clients clarity in the complex area of customs clearance; along with the flexibility to respond quickly to any changes, for example increasing customs clearance staff as and when required.

What benefits are received by using a logistics provider with an in-house customs team

Leading time-critical and emergency logistics specialists, such as Priority Freight, with in-house customs expertise, can provide a one-stop shop service to clients offering total control, security and transparency throughout the journey of each shipment. If augmented with a Transport Management System (TMS), these logistics providers can provide their customers with real-time visibility of their consignments.

Additionally, offering a single point of contact for all matters relating to their shipment enables transparency of end-to-end communication. This efficiency, when combined with visibility, creates client confidence and trust, thus reducing the stress related to operating in the high-pressure environment of time-critical logistics.

The customer also benefits from being able to access in-depth technical customs knowledge and a wealth of experience in this key process through one supplier, allowing for increased speed and flexibility. The partnership between client and logistics provider can be heavily relied upon when additional guidance and support is needed on future projects.

How accreditations strengthen a customs team

With likely future complications arising post-Brexit, it is more important than ever for companies to hold accreditations that highlight to customers that they meet industry standard requirements. Especially if they are involved in the global supply chain.

Achieving authorised economic operator (AEO) status proves that a company meets the most stringent HMRC requirements for providing customs clearance services. AEO status is not mandatory, but is becoming a quality standard in the highly competitive logistics industry, since operators wishing to achieve this standard must demonstrate that they meet strict criteria around compliance with customs legislation, taxation rules and proven standards of competence and record keeping. As an approved processor of customs shipments, an AEO certified logistics provider is able to accelerate release for customs-related shipments and speed up the supply chain.

Similarly, holding the British International Freight Association (BIFA) membership allows logistics organisations to be part of a global network promoting excellence and quality. BIFA keeps its members up-to-date with changes and developments in the industry and provides access to expertise and resources, all of which is important, particularly in the current evolving landscape.

Priority Freight’s customs expertise:

With strategically located offices across Europe, Priority Freight is well equipped to respond rapidly to any changes to customs requirements post-Brexit.

All our UK offices are now AEO accredited, demonstrating our commitment to providing the best logistics solutions to our global clients and giving our customers peace of mind and assurance as to our customs capabilities and practices. Our multilingual logistics specialists are available 24/7 365, with detailed knowledge and experience of customs processes and global requirements.

A dedicated in-house customs clearance department means that we have expertise on-hand to ensure that consignments are correctly handled and cleared as quickly as possible, with pre-clearance negotiated where possible. Should problems arise this valuable in-house expertise ensures swift resolution of issues and minimal disruptions.

Case study: customs expertise ensures customers’ freight avoids queues

A major automotive manufacturer faced possible production stoppage and required the transportation of essential components from Brazil to Poland.

Contacted during a weekend and given just 48 hours, with an untimely customs strike in Brazil, Priority Freight routed the consignment via Frankfurt and negotiated customs pre-clearance to allow departure on the first available flight.

The Priority Freight team knew that there were only two Polish customs offices open 24/7. As a result, the route was extended, by an additional 500km, to make a custom clearance at 04:00AM on Sunday.

By arranging two pre-clearances and rerouting the consignment, Priority Freight subsequently saved the client 24 hours in transport time and as a result, halts to the production line were completely avoided.

Welcome to Priority Freight

Experts in air charter, direct express road transportation, express air freight, express on-board air courier and customs clearance.

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