Fujitsu Launches Digital Trader Services to Reduce Post-Brexit Customs Complexity
London, June 22, 2021
Answering post-Brexit customs challenges, a Fujitsu-led consortium is today launching Digital Trader Services, a digital first solution which will offer UK businesses an easy, cost-effective way to submit customs declarations for importing goods from the EU to Great Britain, providing a user-friendly solution, educational guidance and access to expert advice.
Developed by a consortium of some of the world’s leading trade experts, including Fujitsu, the Institute of Export & International Trade and Competere, Digital Trader Services is set to be an essential resource in helping traders navigate the post-Brexit customs processes required to move goods between Great Britain and the EU, ensuring consumers and businesses retain access to goods from across the EU.
UK Organisations Need Help
As post-Brexit trade legislation comes into effect, the introduction of new customs processes for EU to UK imports has become a significant challenge, adding both complexity and expense to the process. Now, the import of all goods require expertise to navigate customs requirements and access to software to connect with HMRC systems.
The UK government has phased the introduction of import procedures, announcing an easement period on 1st January 2021 – with importers in Great Britain allowed to defer full import declarations for up to 175 days. This easement will come to a close at the end of the year, 31st December 2021. For businesses who have moved goods from the beginning of the year, the first supplementary declaration will be required as early as Thursday 24th June, with some organisations facing a huge backlog of declarations to be submitted. In fact, HMRC estimates that somewhere in the region of 205 to 338 million1declarations will need to be made by organisations in Great Britain trading with the EU each year.
However, Fujitsu’s own study suggests that while 59%2 of traders know about the changes, only 31% say they’re prepared for them. Over the next few months, many organisations are expected to struggle to find the resources and skills they need to cope with rising workloads.
And while customs intermediaries are a popular choice – 53% of traders already use intermediary services3 – the import industry is expecting to see a boom in demand for customs intermediaries that will quickly outstrip the available supply and lead to rapidly escalating costs.
2YouGov survey of 504 senior business leaders working at large organisations (£5m+ turnover) importing/exporting between UK and EU, March 2021
Modern-day Problem; Digital Solution
Providing a digital solution to the issue, Digital Trader Services is an online self-service portal through which declarations can be submitted quickly and easily. The solution will simplify the trader declaration process by reducing the number of fields they need to enter – whether for a business doing a one-off declaration or providing declarations on an ongoing basis. With API and spreadsheet upload capabilities, smart technology will run error checks before automating the submission process by passing declarations straight to HMRC.
Alongside the digital process, users of Digital Trader Services will have access to expert advice and support, providing a personalised guidance through the declarations process. Access to front-line support advisors and customs professionals will be available during business hours, with frontline support agents, customs professionals, and highly qualified experts to answer traders’ questions, when they need it. As part of the consortium, users can draw on the expertise of the Institute of Export & International Trade to provide essential education and handle more complex custom queries.
Digital Trader Services will also offer educational support to help organisations’ in-house customs experts navigate the new system. Customs specialists from both Fujitsu and the Institute of Export & International Trade are developing easy-to-use guides.
Speaking on the launch, Frank Dunsmuir, Head of International Trade and Customs at Fujitsu, said:
“Until now, trading arrangements within the EU were, barring a few technicalities or special circumstances, simple. No longer. Post-Brexit it can seem to many traders as though we are entering a world of ever-multiplying bureaucracy and labyrinthine complexity.
"But it doesn’t need to be so. Technology can provide the answer, playing an essential role in both the future of trade administration and border operations. Used correctly, technology can help businesses to keep trading, enabling the UK and the EU to do more business, not less. Our ambition is to create frictionless trade, turning the border back from being a headache to a simple line on a map between two separate customs regimes.”
Up and Running
The Digital Trader Services portal has now launched and users can already access online information as well as obtaining advice from our team of customs experts at the Institute of Export and International trade. Functionality available in the initial launch provides supplementary declarations for EU-GB imports for standard goods going into free circulation, expanding later to include SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) and other goods subject to trading controls and licences.
As the UK governments seeks to create a "digital border, supporting businesses to import and export with ease and at low cost" by 2025, Digital Trader Services plans to grow and facilitate the easy movements of goods, with the goal of supporting areas where there is a high intensity of trade: UK-EU; special economic zones; freeports and more.
Businesses can sign up to receive a one-on-one session with a customs expert to discuss their specific case. Please note: the number of sessions are limited. Sign-up via the QR code below:
- Visit the Digital Trader Services website: https://digitaltraderservices.com/
- Follow Digital Trader Services on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/digitaltraderservices/
- Find Digital Trader Services on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/digitaltraderservices
About Digital Trader Services (DTS)Fujitsu, with the Institute of Export & International Trade and a consortium including some of the world's leading customs and trade experts, are working together to transform customs administration. Using technologies to facilitate the flow and reduce the ancillary costs of international trade, so organisations can focus on their core business.
DTS will start by addressing the immediate challenges of the highly integrated nature of the trade between Great Britain and the EU which demands efficient, cost-effective customs administration solutions.
Changing the game with Digital Trader Services.
A turning point for managing border processes and international trade, DTS will grow into a suite of services that makes all customs management easier.
As the governments seeks to create a "digital border, supporting businesses to import and export with ease and at low cost" by 2025, DTS is planned to grow and facilitate the easy movements of goods, with the goal of supporting areas where there is a high intensity of trade: UK-EU; Special Economic Zones; Freeports and more.
DTS will help transform international trade support functions, by supporting trade cost reductions and turning the processes at the border from a line on a map to a simple administrative process.
About FujitsuFujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 126,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$34 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.
About Fujitsu UK and IrelandFujitsu UK & Ireland employs over 9,000 people. We promote a Human Centric Intelligent Society, in which innovation is driven by the integration of people, information and infrastructure. We are committed to Digital Co-creation, blending business expertise with digital technology and creating new value with ecosystem partners and customers. We enable our customers to digitally transform with connected technology services, focused on Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Cloud - all underpinned by Security. Our customers cover both the public and private sectors, including retail, financial services, transport, manufacturing, government and defence. For more information please see http://uk.fujitsu.com
About The Institute of Export & International Trade
Established in 1935, the Institute of Export & International Trade is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade.
Offering a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training, the Institute is the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.
Competere is a trade law and economic policy consultancy. We advise clients in the areas of international trade law, competition and regulatory law and policy, as well as on international trade and domestic regulatory economic policy. Competere work with governments and companies on these issues and can help eliminate trade and regulatory barriers that impact business operations.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7861 2800
Phone: + 44 (0)208 052 4803
Date: June 22, 2021