International customs agency Portico ready to support businesses, as countdown to new year EU trade relationship begins

With less than 90 days to go before the UK and EU transition period ends on 1 January 2021, Portico customs agency has expanded their team of experienced agents to help the estimated 145,000 businesses who’ll need to complete customs paperwork for the first time.

From agriculture products to parts for x-ray machines, anyone importing and exporting goods to and from the EU will need to complete full customs declarations, regardless of whether a UK-EU trade deal is agreed.

Portico customs has recruited 17 additional staff, bringing with them years of international trade knowledge and HMRC requirements, in preparation to handle some of the additional 400m customs declarations expected from UK businesses, regardless of where they are based in the country.

Daphne Comber, Portico customs agency manager said: “We’re committed to supporting efficient UK trade and with changes to the imports and exports to and from the EU, this could mean businesses might have to face dealing with custom declarations for the first time.

“It can be a daunting and complicated process, fortunately we handle thousands of customs declarations, and have the right systems to talk to HMRC to make sure goods reach their destination without delay.

“We know how important it is that goods reach manufacturing plants or supermarket shelves quickly. Companies import and export such a variety from the EU that we all use one way or another in our daily lives, so we’ll make sure there aren’t any hold-ups.

“Let us get customs right first time. Leave it in our hands.”

Daphne Comber

Able to clear goods at any UK port or airport, Portico customs has been dealing with international trade for years. They are fully accredited and authorised by the government, this means they can process paperwork faster, benefit from priority clearance, and means a lower risk score, which may reduce the number of checks customs carry out on documents and goods.

Daphne continues: “There will be a lot of change for businesses, but this is a phased approach. The most important way to prepare is to make sure you have an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number, which you apply for by visiting the government’s website to register, then contact us.”

Changes to import and exports will take place over six months from 1 January to give businesses time to adjust. Full customs declarations at first, followed by pre-notification and health documentation for goods of animal origin and regulated plants in April, with physical checks taking place at UK point of entry border control posts in July.

For more information about how Portico customs agency can help you, visit www.porticoshipping.com or call 02392 851 495.

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