Portsmouth Port

Portsmouth International Port

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has reiterated its hopes that a UK-EU trade deal can be achieved before the end of the Brexit transition period.

This comes in response to the news that the European Union will impose full customs controls and checks on goods from the UK from 2021.

The EU’s ambassador to the UK has said the EU has no plan to reciprocate the UK’s decision to offer traders a six-month phased transition of the revised importing arrangements.

Robert Keen, director general of BIFA, said that even if a trade deal is agreed, members will have to manage a huge increase in paperwork and administration, leading to potential for disruption and delays at the border.

“In the event of no trade deal, and no reciprocal grace period being offered by the EU for goods moving from the UK into mainland Europe, there is a high likelihood of significant frontier delays, something BIFA has warned about and is working with government to avoid wherever possible,” he said.

“We continue to question whether there is enough time for the companies that manage cross-border trade between the UK and EU to make the necessary preparations to facilitate the revised arrangements,” he added.

“Even with the UK's decision to implement a phased transition for the new border processes on imports from the EU, and the promise of an additional £50 million investment in Customs IT infrastructure and training.'