42% jump in customs duties for UK businesses and consumers since Brexit – record level of £2.2billion in first seven months

Publications featured in include: Accountancy Daily, The Guardian, City AM, The Scotsman, Handlesblatt, La Libre and Luxemburg Word.

The jump to £2.2billion in customs duties (paid in the year from 1 January to 31 July 2021) is a new record and is up from £1.6billion in the same period last year.

These increased costs are due to new tariffs which have arisen as a result of leaving the EU. The main increase in customs costs comes from the “rule of origin” tariff, which applies to the import of goods from the EU which were originally made, or contain components made, outside of the EU. 

The increased cost of customs duties places further burden on UK businesses who have already been hit hard by the pandemic and increased staffing costs caused by the change in Brexit immigration rules.

Importing goods from the EU has also become far more complicated and time-consuming for UK businesses due to the bureaucracy involved. In some cases, hauliers have needed to supply documentation of up to 700 pages long at borders, causing significant delays.

Michelle Dale, Senior Manager at our Manchester office says: “UK Businesses weren’t given enough time or help to prepare for the cost of Brexit or the masses of paperwork.

The result is that the cost of tariffs and extra paperwork is now causing serious difficulties for many businesses who are already struggling to stay profitable in the face of mounting pandemic-induced costs.”

Businesses are set to face further issues from the 1 October, when a new import ban on EU products of animal origin is being implemented for goods such as chilled mincemeat. This new ban will likely cause longer queues at borders, leaving businesses with increased disruption and costs. 

Custom duties since leaving Brexit jump to £2.2bn – the highest in over a decade (comparing 1 January – 31 July only)

Customs duties article graph
*HMRC, 1 January 2021 – 31 July 2021

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