Hamburg. The British exit from the EU is hindering trade between North German companies and Great Britain. “Despite the post-Brexit rules of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), trade is significantly weakened by the necessary customs declarations and controls,” reported the IHK Nord on Monday in Hamburg after a survey of 248 North German companies with direct business relationships with Great Britain. According to this, 37 percent of respondents have reduced or temporarily stopped doing business with the United Kingdom since the beginning of the year to await economic developments. 46 percent did not expect UK business to recover in the next 12 months either.
The IHK Nord is an amalgamation of twelve chambers of industry and commerce (IHK) from the five northern German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.
Only 13 percent of those questioned had no problems with the movement of goods
According to the survey, newly created trade barriers in the form of customs formalities and increased freight rates are perceived as by far the greatest burdens – “and that although the United Kingdom’s customs regime is not due to be fully implemented until January 1, 2022 and further problems in the supply chains are foreseeable “. 52 percent of those surveyed locate the problems with imports to the UK, 35 percent with exports from there. Only 13 percent stated “no problems”.
Other obstacles are differences in product standards and legal uncertainties when concluding contracts and enforcing outstanding claims. “The North German economy, which is traditionally closely linked to the United Kingdom, has felt massive cuts in mutual goods traffic since New Year’s Day 2021,” said the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce North, Norbert Aust, President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. (dpa / sn)