Trucks in the port of Dover (archive picture): concern about new bureaucracy
Photo: Gareth Fuller / dpa
After the Brexit trade agreement came into force, German exports to Great Britain fell by almost a third in January.
According to preliminary calculations, exports have fallen by around 30 percent compared to the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office announced on the basis of preliminary data.
The reason for this are "the effects of the completed Brexit".
Great Britain had already left the European Union at the end of January 2020.
A transition period ended on December 24, 2020.
Since the beginning of January, the country is no longer part of the EU internal market and the customs union.
Instead, the trade and cooperation agreement negotiated at Christmas has been in effect since the beginning of the year, which brings numerous changes for companies.
German business associations warn that this will lead to additional customs bureaucracy and problems in logistics.
There are also legal uncertainties.
Last year, the Brexit, but also the corona crisis, had left a clear mark on trade in the two countries.
German exports to the United Kingdom fell year-on-year by 15.5 percent to 66.9 billion euros.
According to the information, this was the sharpest decline since the financial and economic crisis in 2009.
"Since 2016 - the year of the Brexit referendum - German exports to the United Kingdom have steadily declined," said the statisticians.
In 2015, German exports there amounted to 89.0 billion euros.
Imports from Great Britain also continued to decline in 2020: by 9.6 percent to 34.7 billion euros.
The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) assumes that German companies will have to submit around ten million customs declarations per year in the future.
That alone should cost around 400 million euros.
Icon: The mirror
dab / Reuters / AFP / dpa