The Institute of Directors (IoD) has said a customs frontier is inevitable once Britain leaves the EU.
In its new report, it states that the government’s challenge is how to minimise the amount of additional checks and customs paperwork Brexit will introduce.
In Navigating Brexit: Priorities for business, options for government, the IoD states that even Turkey’s customs union arrangement with the EU – which has been held up as one path the UK could follow - does not remove the reality of a customs frontier.
“It is important to stress that this is about mitigation, rather than expecting the current relatively burden-free framework for moving goods between the UK and the EU to continue,” states the report.
“The question is about how to minimise the scope for checks, which in turn depends on how much trust the two sides can place in each other’s customs management systems,” the IoD added.
However, the IoD said that HMRC’s roll-out of the EU’s Union Customs Code, and the likely replication of existing EU customs legislation in domestic statute as part of the UK’s Great Repeal Bill, should go a long way towards ensuring this aspect.
The Home Affairs Committee recently heard from road transport representatives and operators about their concerns that exports will be subject to delays after Brexit unless significant changes by government are made.
There have also been concerns raised over the impact to freight movements between the Republic and Northern Ireland.