Firms hit by new Brexit import rules, FSB warns

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Smaller and independent firms are worried about the impact of Brexit import regulations, according to The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The FSB revealed, real-time custom declarations, data input, expensive paperwork is expected to increase financial burdens for deli owners and customers.

From 1 January businesses (both exporters from the EU, and UK firms receiving imports) must notify customs authorities of precisely what is being sent across the British border, and where it was from.

READ MORE: Food shortages hit Britons more than EU states, poll reveals

The process requires the exporter to acquire and then submit an economic operator’s registration and identification number (Eori) number to their UK customers so the importers can input large quantities of data and send it to UK authorities.

“The classic example is your high street deli that is importing delicacies like, say, chorizo from Spain or parmesan from Italy,” FSB head of international affairs James Sibley said.

“For them, the thought of having to register for these systems is daunting and the process is expensive, so we’ve a lot of concern there. For those small businesses directly affected, we have picked up a lot of worry.”

However, business groups say this will affect mainly smaller operators, as unlike larger firms they can’t afford to pay customs agents or freight forwarders to handle the paperwork for them.

Despite Boris Johnson’s promise of less regulations post-Brexit, more checks will come in place 1 July including health certificates, veterinary certificates for animal products and physical inspections of goods.

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