Now that the UK is in the transition period after leaving the EU, Sovos Accordance’s VAT consultant Russell Hughes unpicks the menu of obstacles facing the food and drink sector trading across borders, keeping friction down and wastage low.
The UK government have made its first official announcement on what cross-border trading conditions could look like when the transitional period ends. Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has been in talks with business leaders from the Border Delivery Group and confirmed that post-Brexit trade barriers will be inevitable come 1 January 2021.
The UK government has since issued a press release which confirmed all imports and exports are to be treated equally. This will mean traders in the EU and UK will have to submit customs declarations and be liable to goods checks at the border in the same way as non-EU importers and exporters are currently required to.
Ever since the referendum result in June 2016, the food and drink industry has been raising concerns about Brexit and the impact it will have in placing a burden of additional costs and administration requirements on businesses.
Following this recent announcement, these concerns have been reiterated by the Food and Drink Federation, which has complained about the lack of time to deliver plans, saying: ‘Any frictional trade on the EU/UK trading relationship will inevitably have a cost for businesses, consumers and shoppers.’