A new study has revealed that the vast majority of hauliers – 96% - are not ready for the end of the Brexit transition period and require clarity on border legislation.

Confusion around the transition is apparent in the results, which showed that 66% of respondents are not prepared to present safety and security declarations at customs – because they assumed these documents are the responsibility of the exporter or importer rather than the haulier or courier.

The survey of employees at 32 UK-based haulage firms by Haulage Exchange found 84% need more clarity on the forthcoming border legislation changes and 47% want more time to get the necessary admin completed.

Almost three in four (72%) believe they will be negatively impacted by customs changes and 28% said they were “not at all prepared” for the end of the transition period.

Sam Tyagi, CEO of customs clearance experts KlearNow, said customs procedures were already slow and prone to errors and the situation was set to get worse.

“It’s abundantly obvious that as of right now, there simply aren’t enough staff employed at UK borders to handle the increase in workload brought about by Brexit,” he said. “UK borders are short-handed to the tune of about 50,000 staff and there will be an anticipated five-fold increase in customs entries with Brexit leading to as many 200 million extra customs entries.

“Our fear is that this will quickly lead to a two-tier system with priority given to larger importers who spend more on landing their goods at the expense of smaller businesses and their customers.”