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Germany handed Brexit opportunity – European airfreight set to exploit EU row

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Professor Dr Christopher W. Stoller, President of the Aircargo Club Germany, has spoken of the opportunities presented by Brexit for German logistics. He said: “Many goods that are intended for the European market and were previously handled via British airports are now transported directly to airports within the EU in order to be easily distributed from there.

“This can also prove to be an advantage for German air freight locations.

“In addition, Brexit offers opportunities, especially for logistics service providers, as the customs business is picking up again and their expertise is now in demand.”

This comes as increasing uncertainty surrounds the British transport and logistics industries.

New regulations have been accompanied by a shortage of truck drivers, with the UK missing approximately 65,000 logistics drivers.

He added: “Supply chains are complex international networks and everyone involved has to make sure that trade functions as smoothly as possible.”

Last week, the UK government postponed putting stricter controls on EU imports until 2022 in an attempt to ease supply chain issues.

The more stringent border controls are now scheduled to come into effect next year.

The Government defended the move, with Brexit Minister, Lord Frost, justifying the delay as “pragmatic.”

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He said: “We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border.”

Currently, British exports to the EU must pass full checks, but the process of importing EU products to the UK is not nearly so extensive.

This is because when the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU came into force on January 1 2021, it did not introduce equal checks on both sides.

Full controls were introduced on British exports, whilst the UK is gradually implementing the new regulations.

Prominent UK industry figures say this gives EU companies a competitive advantage over British businesses.

Mr Richardson points out that since January 2021, the UK has not been part of the EU customs union and this has increased barriers for UK traders.

This hits small and medium businesses particularly hard, he added.

He continued: “The immediate effects of Brexit were less serious than expected, as many importers brought their purchases forward to the end of 2020 and thus the stocks could serve as a buffer.

“Nevertheless, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has not removed significant regulatory, logistical and administrative barriers to trade.”

It therefore “falls far short of the goal of ensuring smooth trade,” he said.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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