One in ten UK businesses believe they would likely go bankrupt if goods were delayed by just 10 – 30 minutes at customs as a result of Brexit, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).
The findings come from a survey of 1,310 UK and EU-based supply chain managers, the professionals responsible for navigating customs and negotiating with suppliers around the world.
The research comes at a crucial time for negotiations between the UK and EU about future trading relationships. Front of mind are concerns about longer queues at the borders due to a potential increase in paperwork and checks required to clear customs.
Respondents reported that the longer the delay, the more likely their business would go bankrupt, with the proportion of companies that would go out of business increasing to 14% if delays to the customs process reached 1 – 3 hours, and 15% at 12 – 24 hours.
John Glen, Economist at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), said: “The UK economy could fall of a cliff on Brexit day if goods are delayed by just minutes at the border. Businesses have become used to operating efficiently with exceptionally lean, frictionless supply chains, where quick customs clearance is a given. Customs delays would not only affect businesses but would also lead to a shortage of products on shelves and an increase in prices for consumers as well.”