Two-thirds of UK businesses have had their Brexit preparations disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and only 25% are confident they will cope with the additional administration, according to a survey of supply chain managers by Descartes.
Two-thirds of large firms (with >1000 employees) are extremely concerned about delays in their supply chain impacting their business after Brexit, and less than 20% are prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, while preparedness drops off a cliff, to just 3% of companies in the food and drink, healthcare and medical sectors.
Almost 75% are concerned about customs brokerage capacity post-Brexit, while 20% are concerned about customs declarations impacting their business post-Brexit.
Just over 50% think a UK-EU trade deal is unlikely to be achieved in 2020 and only 10% of supply chain managers claim to have total certainty regarding the impact of Brexit on their business.
Delays to the supply chain are the biggest concern regarding the impact of Brexit on cross border trade, with 66% of supply chain managers in healthcare concerned about supply chain delays, tariff payments (40%) and customs declarations (40%) are the next highest concerns.
The survey says that organisations and supply chain managers with existing experience of customs declarations are far more worried about Brexit than those who have yet to discover the complexity of customs processes.
Significantly, with consumer behaviour having fundamentally changed during the COVID outbreak, this inexperience is likely to catch out many smaller sole traders who have moved to an e-commerce model during the pandemic.
Membership of the EU has masked the complexities of customs for many businesses, for 28 years, over which time international trade has grown and evolved significantly.
Brexit will have vast implications for any company trading with the EU, and they need to act now to ensure the right processes and solutions are in place and ready to operate ahead of the 31st December deadline.
CLICK HERE to see a letter addressed to the Government by the logistics industry bodies in connection with concerns over the end of the Brexit transition period.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR DEDICATED BREXIT PORTAL FOR EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, TO GET INFORMED AND PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE 1ST JANUARY.