KPMG comments after Cabinet discussion on new customs partnership proposal

Posted On: 
3rd May 2018

After proposals for the new UK-EU customs arrangements were discussed by Brexit cabinet committee yesterday, KPMG’s Customs Lead, Bob Jones said:

“Many clients don’t like the New Customs Partnership proposal because it would bring uncertainty, take a long time to implement and mean higher costs.  When we talk to the people involved in day-to-day trade with the EU this proposal is usually described as blue-sky thinking rather than a practical solution. 

“The Highly Streamlined Customs Arrangement proposal, often dubbed ‘max fac’ is generally regarded as a more realistic option because it’s broadly based on tried and tested techniques.  Many bigger businesses are already gearing up for this option even though they say it isn’t frictionless and it can be a challenge to implement.  Some of the concerns with this option are that it also needs to work for businesses with small and medium sized trade flows and it must fully address the Irish border issue.

“Ultimately, both options are complex, often difficult to implement, and they will be expensive compared to the current system.  That’s why most of the clients we speak to would prefer to stay in the existing Customs Union and they are still looking to see what happens with the political amendments aiming to make this happen.”