On 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union (Brexit).
This exit will have several consequences at the Belgian level.
Both the UK and European authorities have agreed to a withdrawal contract. A transition period from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020 has been agreed. This means that there will be no change for citizens and businesses on either side of the Channel at least until the end of 2020.
This period is being used to negotiate a new partnership between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom.
However, unless the transitional period is extended, the risk of a Brexit without an agreement remains if the negotiations started during the transitional period are not concluded by 31 December 2020.
Forwarders and logistics service providers can play an important advisory and executive role for their customers/shippers, who shall suddenly face new barriers to trade.
This will be the case in any Brexit scenario and not only in the event of a hard Brexit.
UK is a major trading partner for our country and, as a result, our sector will also suffer significant repercussions.
Approximately 9% of Belgium's total exports are destined for the UK and almost 5% of all imports to Belgium come from the UK.
Not only the goods sector but also the service sector will suffer a major impact, as the UK relies on Belgian companies for almost 9% of its services, both inbound and outbound. Transport and logistics services play an important role in this area.
FORWARD Belgium has prepared a guide for forwarders, customs representatives and logistics service providers. The document does not try to be all-encompassing but aims to provide an overview of some relevant themes that logistic service providers shall jointly face.
You can download the guide in Dutch and French:
For additional information about Brexit, please contact the FORWARD Belgium secretariat.