41% of UK businesses have not carried out a Brexit risk assessment

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Have you done a Brexit risk assessment? (Shutterstock)

The British Chambers of Commerce has found that 41% of UK firms have not done a Brexit risk assessment. Anna Tobin reports

A survey of over 1,500 businesses from across the UK, carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), shows a worryingly high number of UK firms are not ready for Brexit, deal or no deal. Two-fifths or 41% of UK businesses have not done a Brexit risk assessment or audit.

In a no deal scenario, the BCC results show that even among internationally active UK businesses: 63% are not aware of Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP); 62% are not aware of Authorised Economic Operator status (AEO); and 73% are not aware of Customs Comprehensive Guarantees (CCG).

The BCC is calling on the Government to either automatically enrol or support businesses to access these customs and border facilitations. It is also urging all businesses, not just those trading across borders, to do a Brexit risk assessment on their supply chains and operations.

“Businesses do not want to see a messy and disorderly Brexit, but ongoing uncertainty means they must prepare for all possibilities as the October deadline looms,” warns Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC. “While more firms have taken basic steps to prepare for change than was the case last year, and Government has stepped up communication to businesses, ongoing uncertainty makes business planning with confidence next to impossible. Companies are told to plan but are being presented with a moving target.

“Businesses are facing significant changes on multiple fronts, and need official guidance that is consistent, precise and easily accessible, enabling them to trade in any scenario. Yet, there are many areas where there simply isn’t enough clear and actionable information for businesses to mitigate some of the impacts of an unwanted no-deal exit.

“Low levels of awareness around special customs and trade schemes are of particular concern, as this highlights the potential for disruption at borders in an unwanted no-deal situation. Companies should be automatically enrolled or supported to enrol in these schemes to increase trader readiness. Our evidence yet again reinforces the importance of averting a chaotic exit on October 31st.”

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