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France releases guide for UK businesses in case of no-deal Brexit

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France releases guide for UK businesses in case of no-deal Brexit
Photo: AFP
16:22 CET+01:00
French customs authorities have released a new guide for UK businesses on how to prepare for new procedures set to be introduced in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The guide, published on the UK government website on Friday, sets out how British businesses that transport goods between the UK and France should prepare for new customs procedures in the event that Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal.
 
Should the UK leave the EU with no deal on March 29th, customs and controls at the France's border with the UK will be rolled out for goods. 
 
This means that any exchange of goods between France and the UK, both for imports and exports, will be subjected to two customs declarations, one to British customs and one to the French side.
 
The new guidance from French customs is intended to help UK businesses prepare for the new arrangements.
 
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"Brexit without a withdrawal agreement would mean that the United Kingdom becomes from 30 March 2019 a third country to the European Union and leaves the internal market," said Rodolphe Gintz, the director general of French customs, in a letter included in the guide. 

"For several months alongside its partners, French Customs has been preparing in order to ensure the continuity and fluidity of trade in goods between France and the United Kingdom in such a scenario," said Gintz. 
 
As a result it has developed a "'smarter border' system", he added, encouraging UK businesses to prepare "without delay" and "maintain international competitiveness". 
 
The guide is divided into sections covering how businesses have to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario including, what exactly customs clearance is, advice on whether businesses should outsource customs procedures to a registered customs representatives, what information businesses need to provide to a registered customs representative. 
 
There are also sections advising on what financial impact Brexit may have businesses, how to register a business with customs and which goods require special treatment. 
 
The guide arrives as French customs officers continue their work-to-rule industrial action to protest over pay and show the effect Brexit will have on cross-Channel passengers.
 
This has seen delays on Eurostar services from Gare du Nord, with the disruptions expected to last until at least Sunday. 
 
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