British MPs warn of 'catastrophic' customs failure after Brexit

Share
British MPs warn of 'catastrophic' customs failure after Brexit

In its report, Brexit and the future of Customs, the committee also warned that HMRC is managing an unsustainable amount of change with 15 programmes and 250 projects in its transformation portfolio.

Director general, Robert Keen said: "We share the Committee's concern that HMRC does not yet have the necessary funding and resources to produce the infrastructure that will be required to facilitate Customs processes post-Brexit". The report warns Government must do more to work with businesses and ensure contingency option in place well before January 2019.

The report calls on the Treasury, which is now putting together chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget speech for next week, to ensure there is funding in place for these contingency options.

Westminster's Public Accounts Committee warned it would be "catastrophe" if the system was not ready in time and there was no viable fall-back option in place.

"In 2015, around 55m customs declarations were made by 141,000 traders". This is a tight timetable at the best of times.

Meg Hillier, the Labour chair of the committee, said HMRC should be "banging on the doors of the Treasury" in order to secure the funding it needs to get the system operational in time to deal with the change.

Meg Hillier, PAC chair and Labour MP, said: "Failure to have a viable customs system in place before the UK's planned exit from the European Union would wreak havoc for United Kingdom business, trade and our global reputation". Confidence would collapse amid the potentially catastrophic effects.

A Government spokesperson said: "The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is on track for delivery by January 2019 and has the capacity to deal with a significant increase in customs declarations at the border".

'This is deeply worrying.

"HMRC must press the case to secure this funding now and ensure that, if other plans fail, customs will be fit for objective".

"This is a programme of national importance that could have a huge reputational impact for the United Kingdom if it is not delivered successfully". It says "delay is not an option".

She said HMRC needed a relatively small sum to upgrade the current system but had been told by HMRC it was merely "in conversation" over upgrade costs.

The report also calls for HMRC to improve its engagement with traders and keep them abreast of the CDS timeline; to "urgently prioritise and make hard decisions" with regard to its "unsustainable" amount of transformation projects; and to report back to the PAC on progress made by March 2018.

It also urged HMRC to ensure that the CDS system and the CHIEF contingency option are capable of managing 255m customs declarations every year, while providing the flexibility to meet the wider challenges of an integrated customs and trade system for the United Kingdom, such as managing changes to tariffs, free trade agreements and global trade quotas.

But Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said the customs service was "on track" to be ready in time.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Buffon quits as Italy suffer World Cup 'apocalypse'
It was 1958 and the World Cup was actually held in Sweden across 22 days in June with the hosts finishing runners-up to Brazil. Italian fans were struggling to come to terms with the prospect of a World Cup without their national team.

Today's Brokerage Rating: Geron Corporation (GERN), AmerisourceBergen Corporation
Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Geron Corporation in the second quarter worth about $114,000. Needham & Company LLC restated a "hold" rating on shares of Geron Corporation in a research report on Friday, November 3rd.

Russia, US thoroughly discuss possibility to deploy United Nations mission to Ukraine
Volker said Washington wants the mission to monitor the entire conflict area and make sure heavy weapons are pulled back. Both Surkov and Volker were confident that "the Minsk Agreements should be implemented".

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX) Investment Up in Latest Report from Alliancebernstein LP
Majedie Asset Management Ltd increased its position in shares of Barrick Gold Corporation by 7.8% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in shares of Barrick Gold Corporation by 41.7% in the second quarter.

Intuit Inc. (INTU) Now Covered by Analysts at UBS AG
Godshalk Welsh Capital Mngmt invested 1.81% of its portfolio in Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) rating on Thursday, September 21. The United Kingdom-based Wellcome Trust Ltd (The) As Trustee Of The Wellcome Trust has invested 6.41% in the stock.

Meet Lebanese-origin Alex Azar, Trump's pick for health secretary
Azar served as the president of the American division of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly from 2012 until January of this year. Bush's first term, which was his first healthcare-focused professional role.

Westpac Banking Corp Sells 87973 Shares of Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)
After $0.55 actual EPS reported by Starbucks Corporation for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 3.64% EPS growth. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 478,446 shares of the company's stock, valued at $28,060,857.90.

Rents across the country soar to all time high of €1200 a month
However, he said pressure zones were not being adhered to by some landlords and a transparent rent register should be considered. Prof Lyons said the rental figures did not make happy reading, adding: "Extra supply is quite simply the only solution".

Stock Stepping Up to a Recent High: Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENPH)
Its minimum price target estimates has been figured out at $1.53 while the maximum price target forecast is established at $2.5. ValuEngine raised shares of Enphase Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, September 27th.

Coast Guard denies firing at Tamil fishermen in Palk Bay
He said the Coast Guard personnel had beaten them up again stating that they should learn Hindi. Pitchai said he was injured when the rubber bullets fired from the ship hit him on his hand.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.