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Posted on May 7, 2009

Freight forwarders, importers and customs agents are complaining of delays caused by the inefficiency of the UK Border agency.  The UKBA selects freight containers at random to scan them for customs purposes.  However, it has been taking up to seven days to scan the containers, instead of the usual 24 hours.  The unacceptably long time period mean that importers are having to pay demurrage to the port and shipping line, even though the delay was not caused by the importer themselves.  It appears that there have been problems with the scanning equipment and with staff shortages at the UKBA.  The British International Freight Association’s spokesman said that the UK Border Agency has been selecting more containers for scanning than they could possibly screen with the equipment they have available, resulting in very severe delays.  UKBA has new equipment and is hoping to start clearing the backlog.

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