RHA stands by call for more customs agents despite government dismissal of numbers

Peterborough, UK: The UK is still “many thousands of customs agents short” of targets, says the Road Haulage Association, following a question in Parliament where the government dismissed concerns.

Margaret Ferrier, the Independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, put a question to Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt about the steps the UK government was taking to ensure that the country has the number of customs agents required to deal with new, post-Brexit red tape.

MP Margaret Ferrier asked: “The Road Haulage Association has highlighted that UK exports to the EU will not recover until summer at the earliest, due to a shortage of customs agents. The industry estimates we need 30,000 customs agents for the whole of the UK, and we are presently well short of that target.

“Will the minister delineate what steps are currently being taken to meet that target?”

However, Penny Mordaunt said that the original calculations for how many customs agents would be needed had been “overestimated”, and that agreements which had been recently signed were mitigating a lot of these issues.

RHA managing director Rod McKenzie said: “The RHA continues to argue that we are many thousands of customs agents short of what is needed for the red tape that traders now face.

“We have many first-hand accounts from traders about just how difficult it is to find a customs agent. This would not be the case if what the minister claims is accurate.”

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