To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods, published on 13 July 2020, what comparative assessment assessment he has made of the current number of customs intermediaries and the expected number that will be in place by January 2021.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 12 of The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods, published on 13 July 2020, what estimate he has made of the number of what estimate he has made of the number of businesses currently using a customs intermediary to help them comply with their obligations.
The vast majority of the UK’s rest of world traders use an agent or intermediary to comply with customs formalities and manage their logistics and transport needs. Based on this, the Government expects that intermediaries will play an essential role as the majority of UK businesses trading with the EU will want to use their services to facilitate the import/export process.
HMRC do not employ customs agents/customs intermediaries directly. The UK has a well-established industry of customs intermediaries which serve British businesses trading outside the EU. The sector is varied and made up of a number of different business models including specific customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators, all of which will require varied numbers of staff. HMG has recently announced an additional £50m of grant scheme support for the sector to increase capacity, in addition to the £34m of support currently available.