British firms are turning to India, Eastern Europe to do post-Brexit customs work

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Millions of additional customs declarations are required annually for goods that cross the border.

British companies are turning to cheaper overseas labor to do their post-Brexit customs papers, creating jobs in countries like Romania and India due to a lack of trained staff in the UK.

In anticipation of an increase in demand for its services, Xpediator Plc, which handles freight flows for international companies, has hired employees in Romania. Dave Gladen, the company’s group marketing manager, says the country has an extensive pool of expertise regarding EU customs regulations, having only joined the bloc in 2007.

“We are allowed to get great expertise and obviously the cost is lower,” Gladen said in a telephone interview. “Customs broker salaries in the UK just went up insane.”

The UK logistics industry needs to find creative ways to prepare for a wave of bureaucracy that will kick in on January 1st when trade between the UK and its largest trading partner is subject to new paperwork, even if both sides reach a free side. Trade agreement. Goods crossing the border require hundreds of millions of additional customs declarations annually, the cost of which is estimated at 13 billion pounds ($ 17 billion).

Metro Shipping Ltd., which carries goods for some of the UK’s largest retailers and automotive companies, has hired 17 additional employees in Chennai, India in the past few weeks to specifically handle the Brexit-related work. Based in Birmingham, England, the company expects to process an additional 120,000 customs declarations annually.

“There is nowhere near enough capabilities to cover this,” said Grant Liddell, Business Development Director at Metro, who stopped accepting new customers for Brexit in August because capacities were full. “We have really prepared for this,” he said, noting that he could hire six or seven people in India for the price of one in the UK.

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For the government, a shortage of customs brokers is one of the biggest threats that could disrupt trade with the EU after the end of the Brexit transition period. If companies do not have the correct documentation, there is a risk of goods being held up at the border and potentially causing traffic chaos. Alternatively, companies can choose not to trade with the EU at all if they cannot submit the relevant documents.

Officials are trying to mitigate the problem by offering companies grants to train customs personnel, though success has been limited: of the £ 84 million made available, less than a third was down by Oct. 16, according to the National Audit paid office.

The Road Haulage Association, a lobbying group, has estimated that the UK will need an additional 50,000 customs brokers to handle the additional workload of Brexit. The government has repeatedly refused to give a number of how many have been trained.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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