The RHA is demanding clarity on how hauliers will be expected to run their businesses from January next year when full border customs checks from the EU are imposed.

While the UK has announced that it will not be introducing complete customs checks on goods arriving from the EU, Michel Barnier, EU Brexit negotiator, has confirmed that from 1 January 2021, every UK product imported into the EU will face checks, regardless of whether or not a trade deal is reached.

Bernier said that the EU has also hired and trained hundreds of additional customs agents to handle the additional customs paperwork which will be generated.

The RHA estimates that the new customs procedures with the EU will generate around 200,000,000 new pieces of paperwork, which will in turn require 50,000 new UK customs agents to be trained.

However the UK government has yet to meet its stated target of having 50,000 additional customs agents trained up by 31 December 2020.

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RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “RHA members and traders in general, need clarity on how they will be expected to run their businesses from January 2021.

“What worries us is that at the moment, the UK hasn’t hired anything like the number of customs agents needed to process the new form-filling.

“The UK is very slow off the starting blocks on hiring thousands of staff to do this vital work. If we don’t tackle this fast it’s a recipe for disruption to the supply chain post-transition which affects us all.”

Burnett added that many firms still do not know what forms will be required, how they should be completed, who should complete which forms, or where they will need to be sent.

“This is vital information that firms need to have as soon as possible, and should already have received if they’re to have enough time to prepare for the new trading arrangements with the EU,” he added.