If the last 12 months has been a challenging time for freight forwarders and the supply chains that they manage, 2022 looks like being another year of exceptional challenges for the freight and logistics sector, says Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

Robert Keen
Director General at BIFA

Traders and logistics providers need to remain focused on many issues that they will need to address in 2022. One of these is HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) timetable for the full introduction of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) and the retirement of the CHIEF system that has enabled UK entry processing for almost 28 years.

In the summer of 2021, HMRC provided some clarity regarding the full introduction of CDS and 2022 will see a major transition. BIFA launched an online training course in October 2021 designed specifically to help our Members understand and implement the different working methods involved with the new system.

As important is the government’s revised timetable for goods being imported from the EU, which will see full customs declarations introduced from 1 January 2022, and requirements for pre-notification of SPS goods from the same date.

BIFA has led an education programme to help its members encourage and prepare their European customers that export to the UK for the 1 January 2022 deadline, and promoted the need for everyone to realise and understand that the UK government is serious about imposing border controls in January 2022.

Industry promotion is one of BIFA’s key roles. 2021 saw BIFA launch a campaign to encourage its members to work with schools to promote careers in logistics, forwarding and the supply chain. This is aimed at encouraging students to consider such careers as the first part of a wider industry Inspiration programme that will help members to highlight to students the available routes when making career choices, identify the core values and behaviours required when applying for jobs, and provide advice that may encourage young people to broaden their horizons. This has also seen us sign a partnership with Think Logistics.

Since the Brexit vote and the onset of the Covid pandemic, global supply chains have been in the news more than ever, so what a great time to encourage someone to consider a career in the international freight sector that manages those supply chains.

BIFA’s origins stretch as far back as the 1940s, but it was established in its current form in 1988.

BIFA represents over 1,500 UK companies in the logistics and supply chain management sector.


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