Customs agent shortage starts to bite

Dover, UK: A massive shortage of customs agents will begin to have an effect from tonight, according to Robert Hardy, founder of the Customs Clearance Consortium.

“There is a huge shortage of customs agents and whilst this might not be visible just yet, it will be from tonight as the pressure will be on export documentation,” Hardy said.

Hardy sent an email, warning of the consequences: “We understand that France have already started to send vehicles back for not having the correct documentation.”

The Road Haulage Association and Logistics UK have been warning of the shortage of customs agents for years. The RHA calculated that the UK will need at least 50,000 customs agents and it believes that about 220 million new forms will need to be filled in each year, including customs forms.

Robert Hardy, Customs Clearance Consortium

The RHA is so concerned that it recently called for a six-month implementation period so that hauliers could adapt to the new customs and border check changes.

The government set up a £50m fund last year in a bid to increase the number of customs agents operating in the UK.

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