London: Over half of all firms engaging in importing business from the European Union (EU) to Britain have found the new border controls “challenging”, a new survey has revealed.
The full customs control, as agreed in Brexit deals, requests that British importers make a full customs declaration on goods entering the UK since January 1, 2022, as the once-introduced 175-day cushion period is due, reports Xinhua news agency.
Some controls, including certificates and physical checks on agri-foods and plant imports, are being postponed till July 1 this year.
Twenty-two per cent of the involved businesses responded that the controls are “very challenging”, according to the survey by the Institute of Directors.
Another 36 per cent considered them “quite challenging”, it added.
Small businesses have been disproportionately hit, according to the survey. Thirty-one per cent of them reported “very challenging”, compared to 12 per cent of medium-sized ones and only 7 per cent of larger ones.
“Our members have told us these challenges are mainly due to added administration and paperwork, which in many cases means taking on extra costs,” said Emma Rowland, policy advisor at the organisation.
Smaller businesses “do not have the capacity that larger businesses do to shoulder this burden, both in terms of time and resource”, she said.
Rowland urged the government to ramp up awareness and resources for small and medium-sized enterprises ahead of additional controls coming later this year.