On 31 December 2020 the number of annual customs declarations was forecast to increase from 55 million to around 300 million, with businesses who import and export goods facing an increase in administration.
To help combat this, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has harnessed the reach, expertise and knowledge of the Chamber network, to launch ChamberCustoms, a compliance-led service which is being provided to members and non-members alike to offer peace of mind.
Started in partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce, it is a ‘One Stop Shop’ with direct links to all sea, air and road ports and terminals in the UK with experts on hand to offer help as the amount of paperwork required to import and export goods from overseas will increase in both volume and complexity.
To lead the initiative, the Chamber has taken on Kimberley Towle as Customs Declarations Officer as well as training three other members of staff.
Kimberley, who worked in the aviation industry for seven years before moving on to customs compliance, wants to make sure that businesses are ready for the changes and confident in what they are doing.
“A lot of work has gone into Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce launching ChamberCustoms and making sure it is there to help and advise businesses during this time,” said Kimberley.
“Overseas trade is crucial to the economy in our region and, as the EU is our biggest and nearest trading partner, it’s vitally important that companies – no matter how small or large – are ready to do business with Europe as quickly as possible once the rules have changed.
“Customs formalities are challenging and there are many organisations that don’t fully understand where to find all the information, so we are here for them, staff have been trained and we have a network 53 Chambers across the UK that can provide support.
“We have already been speaking to businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire and several have already signed up for the service. However, we expect that to increase once the transition period is over when businesses see the additional work that is going to be involved in customs.”