BIFA urges caution amongst members on Brexit
28 / 06 / 2017
The British International Freight Association (BIFA), the UK forwarder association, is encouraging members to “carefully consider the options when seeking advice on the likely implications to their business and services of the UK’s decision to leave the EU”.
On the subject of Brexit, director general Robert Keen observed: “There has been a huge volume of announcements and press coverage on the likely impact on the UK’s international trade and the issue has certainly been a shot in the arm for conference organisers.
“We have been here before on numerous issues, such as container weighing, new customs regimes, etc, with a lot said based on very little fact.”
He continued: “BIFA is in frequent discussions with the UK Government about the possible implications of Brexit to try and find answers to some of the questions about international trade that arise from the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
“In our discussions, we have made clear to government the danger to international supply chains of poorly negotiated agreements on customs systems, border controls and trade tariffs, for example.
“At present, there are many ifs, buts and maybes on the actual mechanics of Britain’s future trading relationships and how they might affect the freight forwarding sector.
“Hence, we are recommending that our members exercise caution in trying to evaluate how, as Brexit unfolds, the many issues influencing visible trade will affect the work of our members which facilitate that trade,” Keen advised.
In the middle of January, BIFA had said that BIFA’s view was that the freight industry in the UK is “none the wiser” after the country’s prime minister had outlined the government’s plan for leaving the European Union.
UK prime minister Theresa May revealed in mid-January that as part of exiting the European Union, the country would also leave the single market, which allows for tariff free trade across borders, adding that the UK would push for “the freest possible trade” with the EU and other countries.
“Our members across the country over the last few months have been dealing with a lot of uncertainty,” Keen said in January.
“Freight forwarding executives are none the wiser on the actual mechanics of Britain’s future trading relationships and how they might affect the freight forwarding sector,” he had then added