TSA joins other industry sectors in stressing the importance of a frictionless border

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TSA joins other industry sectors in stressing the importance of a frictionless border

In recent days several major employers in the UK including Airbus, BMW and Jaguar Land-Rover have raised concerns over the lack of information and clarity with regards to the UK Governments plans for customs checks following the exit of the UK from the European Union (EU).

Many businesses and industry groups have stressed the need for a frictionless border between the UK and the EU to ensure that trade can continue unhindered and without any additional financial burden.  Failure to do so may have a dramatic impact on logistical supply chains which are essential to ensuring a thriving economy, and may also impact future investment decisions.

The Tank Storage Association (TSA) awaits further details from the UK Government with regards to it’s planned ‘third option’, however re-iterates its call for Government to engage more fully with industry.  We again urge Government to ensure that an end-to-end declaration processing service is put in place allowing the efficient passage of legitimate imports and exports to and from countries outside of the UK.  Consideration should be given to the following suggestions as part of the development of such a system:

  • Limit the use of the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight  (CHIEF) system (and its successor the Customs Declaration Service [CDS]) to the declaration of goods to customs, as it is likely to struggle with the increased volume of transactions carried out by the existing Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS).
  • Move the payment of customs duty & VAT from the border to when goods move to home use (as with excise duty).
  • Use commercial documents/self-assessment for transaction tracking and duty payments and audits for compliance.
  • Remove restrictions placed on how goods are held in a customs/tax warehouse.  Primarily this would mean allowing common storage and co-storage of UK and non-UK goods in the same tanks.
  • Simplify the process of gaining customs warehouse approval and limit the need for warehouse guarantees (make extension to the tax warehouse approval).

New customs arrangements will take time to fully implement.  Therefore these options need to be explored today, regardless of whether or not a final solution has been reached and regardless of any existing limitations in legislation under the existing Customs Union.  Failure to be prepared and failure to take advantage of the opportunity to simplify and streamline processes will result in a significant impact on UK business.

We look forward to continuing to work with Government to further develop its plans for future customs arrangements.



Notes for editors:

The TSA represents the interests of thirty-six member companies engaged in the storage of bulk liquids and the provision of products and services to the sector.  Collectively members operate approximately 300 terminals and distribution hubs in the UK and have over 8 million cubic metres of storage capacity in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI).  Our members provide and support an essential interface between sea, road, rail and pipeline logistics for many different substances including transport and heating fuels, chemicals, animal feed and foodstuffs.

For further information about the TSA visit: https://tankstorage.org.uk/

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TSA plays a leading role in several industry, regulatory and Government forums and works to ensure that members' interests are at the top of the agenda. Through our work and collective voice, we champion the needs of our members in safety, health, environmental and technical matters.