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Business group 'concerned' over impact of new customs charges on small firms

01 May 2024

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is concerned over the impact of new customs checks and charges on small firms in the UK.

The new checks came into force on 30 April, and introduced charges of up to £145 for imports of plant and animal products. The BCC said the introduction of the new fee marks the first time in decades that firms will be required to pay for EU imports of goods arriving in Great Britain.

Costs are highly likely to be passed on to consumers, the business group warned, and there is also mounting uncertainty around which consignments will be subject to the new checks and fees due to issues with border computer systems.

Commenting on the matter, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: 'Firms face mounting confusion and uncertainty about exactly how and when the borders checks and costs will be fully implemented. It is crucial for business and trade that the government gives clarity on what is happening. 

'While the government did consult on the new charges being introduced it chose not to listen. The size of these costs shows scant regard to the interests of either businesses or consumers.'