Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) explains how its members should prepare for Brexit.
Whether you voted for Brexit or not, it really doesn’t matter; it is here now, it is happening and we must work together to ensure the future success of our profession, so that we can continue to propel national economic growth.
If there is one clarion call which I have consistently recommended to Government, it is the imperative importance of frictionless borders. It is vital that we achieve this to get British products and services efficiently to market, both within Europe and further afield.
Following the vote for Brexit, our profession has been, and continues to be, in a period of continued uncertainty, but we must all be aware of the many opportunities that can arise from Brexit and be ready and able to seize them and add value.
CILT represents the expertise and experience of professionals and leaders in the logistics and transport sector – a key element of our economy and UK trade around the globe. For some time now, we have been involved in discussions with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Transport (DfT) to deliver impartial advice and offer solutions to the opportunities that will arise from Brexit.
The Institute is championing Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification to aid members to gain a competitive advantage, recognition for professional competence and trouble free border crossings. AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark and is open to any company directly or indirectly involved in the international supply chain, however large or small.
Clearly, security at all border crossings is of vital importance, but how this is managed is also critical to commerce. A 21st-century solution is required if goods and vehicles are going to flow smoothly. AEO is the crucial ticket to negotiating Brexit, and indicates that your role in the international supply chain is secure and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.
AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark indicating that your role in the international supply chain is secure, and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. AEO certifies that a company meets the necessary standards in compliance, security and safety in the international supply chain – this will truly be the club to be in to guarantee success through Brexit and beyond.
The focus of CILT’s position on behalf of its members to the UK Government is very much about keeping trade flowing across our borders post-Brexit. We believe that AEO status should give companies that have demonstrated their commitment to security in the supply chain access to what would in effect be a green lane through UK ports and airports.
CILT is encouraging that companies press forward and attain AEO status before Brexit, so that they can take advantage of the benefits available now and also be best placed to gain benefits post-Brexit. Holding this status is going to be key to experiencing the frictionless border or green channel that industry wants and needs, in whatever shape that is available post-Brexit.
The application process takes months not weeks and companies do need to prepare prior to submitting their applications. Now really is the time to get started. Those that have not yet chosen to be certified should be giving it serious consideration.