BUSINESSES in Scotland are being “left in the dark” over Brexit , facing long delays and increasing costs, according to a Scottish businessman.

Simon Taylor runs the Glasgow-based EcoLightingSystems which provides specialist lighting solutions to the whisky, distilling and oil and gas companies.

He sources around 80% of his products from Germany and said leaving the EU has meant deliveries that used to take a few days are now taking a few weeks – if they make it to Scotland in the first place.

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“Prior to Brexit, it was seamless,” Taylor said. “But after Brexit, there must be about a half a dozen different documents that we have to submit to our supplier before they can ship.

The National: Simon TaylorSimon Taylor

“And now what we found was prior to Brexit you maybe had a half dozen transport companies prepared to bring products into the UK, pre-Brexit that was slashed by 50%.

“So our main supplier in Germany probably only has two or three companies that they can go to in terms of bringing product into the UK.

“What basically happens is the product leaves Germany and we need to provide invoices up front as part of the documentation that arrives at UK customs and essentially it disappears into a black hole.”

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Taylor complains about a lack of “traceability” when deliveries hit UK customs.

He said: “We do not know where they are. And certainly in the last six months, we’ve had relatively small deliveries in terms of size, but of high importance for our customers and arriving at UK customs and sitting there for maybe 10 to 14 days and then being returned from Germany to the supplier, without our knowing.

“That cause major issues for us or, more importantly, for our customers. So it’s a major, major hassle.”

For Taylor, the costs, which can be up to £200 per delivery, are not the biggest issue for him, but is still money which may eventually be passed onto consumers, he said.

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“It’s the significant increase in our paperwork,” he continued. “It’s the delays to our deliveries. There is no traceability, at a certain point, particularly going through the UK customs we’re not kept in the loop.

“And it seems to be a bit of a lottery as to what gets through and what doesn’t get through.”

It’s not just Taylor’s business that’s affected, as he explains how one delay in the supply chain can have a knock-on effect on the rest of the line – and potentially right up to the customer paying for their whisky.

“It’s causing a lot of aggro and hassle. Essentially, it can and does delay project handovers, which means lost revenue for the contractor because they don’t get paid until the project is handed over.

“A lot of these guys have lived pre-Brexit with the idea that if you order something on a Monday, it likely gets to you by Friday.

“But now, it’s a complete lottery. It could be one week, it could be three weeks.

“The systems seem to be all over the place. We are just completely left in the dark here.

“And, in fact, our colleagues in Germany, were probably more informed than we were because they were having regular seminars, within their local, you know, trade commerce.

“And we got none of that. None of that over here.

“It was a shambles.”

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.

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