‘Waste of everyone’s time’: New government video sets out Brexit paperwork mountain

A new government video explains the costly and time-consuming barriers that must be overcome to trade with the EU since Brexit – running to three-and-a-half minutes.

The mountain of paperwork required – as the price for leaving the EU single market and customs union – takes in form-filling, recruiting a customs agent and meeting rules of origin.

The video lists around 15 stages to go through in order for “Edward to sell thousands of pounds worth of glassware to Elise’s shop in France”, a frictionless process before Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

It makes a mockery of the prime minister’s claims when he signed the agreement on Christmas Eve 2020, when he promised the country “there will be no non-tariff barriers to trade”.

Mr Johnson hailed “a deal which will if anything should allow our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends”.

In fact, as the video – described as “A simple guide to exporting” – explains, cross-Channel traders must now:

* Recruit a customs agent to help submit declarations.

* Obtain an Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification (Eori) number, for customs processes.

* An Eori number is also required by the importer in the EU.

* Both parties must agree ‘Incoterms’ – international commercial terms – which set out their responsibilities.

* The exporter must supply an invoice purchase order and transportation details to their customs agent (as well as the Eori number).

* They must also supply proof that the goods meet rules of origin – to avoid tariffs.

* The goods must also be complaint with EU labelling rules.

* Guidance for HGV operators should be checked.

* Export declarations for customs and safety and security export declarations must be submitted.

* A consignment reference is then sent to the haulage company to add to their goods movement paperwork.

* That is used to register to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), which links customs paperwork into a single IT record.

* Import declarations and safety and security declarations must be completed on the EU side

* This generates an import Movement Reference Number (MRN) which is sent to the haulage company

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