Brexit will cause a monumental impact on British and European businesses. How well automated are your document processes?

Currently, heated negotiations are taking place with the European parliament in Brussels in a final effort to come to an agreement on Brexit. But don’t be mistaken. Deal or no deal, physical and digital borders will appear in places they weren’t before, which means paperwork. A lot more paperwork.


Currently, heated negotiations are taking place with the European parliament in Brussels in a final effort to come to an agreement on Brexit. But don’t be mistaken. Deal or no deal, physical and digital borders will appear in places they weren’t before, which means paperwork. A lot more paperwork.

If you’re doing business between Britain and the European mainland, coping with this increased amount of paperwork will mean you’ll have to look into automating document creation and manipulation if you want to stay efficient.

Documents for logistics, customs documents or all kinds of newly required insurance, quality or compliance certificates, these types of documents can all be created manually. But when you’re talking about a surge like this… luckily solutions exist which can help automating your existing document management processes quicker and easier.


A solution with a proven track record of 20 years


iText Software offers an extensive modular PDF library in iText 7 and its suite of add-ons, and also our template designer and PDF generator iText DITO. The iText PDF library is globally one of the most well-known and widely implemented PDF libraries across many different industries. Ask any developer, and chances are they’ll have heard about iText before. It’s existed for over 20 years and has an open-source DNA. Therefore, many of today’s developers played around with it when they were younger.

iText 7 Suite allows you to integrate very common document handling actions quickly and easily into your current existing software platforms. It’s performant, and with its range of add-ons extending features and functionality it’s an ideal choice for high-volume document generation and manipulation tasks.

iText DITO on the other hand is a browser-based template designer with the same strong PDF engine behind, allowing any person with or without developer skills to design templates to dynamically merge existing data and generate huge batches of unique documents conforming to the latest PDF standards, including archival or accessibility requirements.

A study: Aggregated impact on documents


Business Europe did an excellent research study on the aggregated impact of Brexit in terms of paperwork for several countries in the EU.

United Kingdom

The impact on businesses of these added administrative requirements is expected to be very significant in terms of time and resources – in both the EU27 and the UK. The impact for the UK itself will be substantial. A report by the Institute for Government estimates that 180,000 British companies will need to make customs declarations for the first time after Brexit.

The additional administration required to cope with this task is expected to cost UK traders around £4 billion a year.


In the Netherlands, for instance, figures show that in 2016 more then 35,000 Dutch companies - many of them small or medium-sized enterprises - made a purchase or sale with the UK without having ever traded with a third country outside the EU's Customs Union. In practice, this means that 30% of the value of Dutch trade with the UK is made by businesses who have never had to deal with customers procedures. Furthermore, the number of annual entry customs declarations is expected to increase by 1.5 million and the number of exit declarations by 5 million once the UK leaves the EU Customs Union. According to estimates by the Dutch customs office, the number of domestic companies that need to file customs declarations will increase by 40%.


Similarly, drastic increases are expected elsewhere. In Germany, the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimates that for German-UK trade alone, an additional 15 million customs documents will be necessary, resulting in an estimated annual cost of 500 million euros.


The French customs administration informed its business community that it anticipates 1.2 million to 2 million new import and export declarations and launched a recruitment process to recruit approximately 700 to 750 new customs officers by 2020, with 250 recruited by 2018.


In Ireland for instance, 91,000 companies trade with the UK. Their customs declarations are expected to increase by up to 800% after Brexit.


In Finland, the national customs authorities estimate that annual import and export declarations will increase by 230,000 and 36,000, respectively. This additional paperwork alone could cost Finnish companies as much as €115 million annually.

Conclusion: keep iText top of mind

Perhaps you, like many others, first want to see what will be the outcome of the endless negotiations on a political level? But until that happens, keep the iText PDF library in mind for the next couple of months. Chances are, you’ll be happy you remembered and knew where to find us. Point your development partners or colleagues to iText because it will save you time and money compared to building a custom solution or implementation from scratch. iText has professional support plans, regular updates, an enormous community which has accumulated over the past 20 years. In addition, it’s backed by a financially independent, global company, guaranteeing continuity of your business processes.

You know where to find us with any question you might have. Simply explain us your situation, the processes or software you use, and we’ll happily point you in the right direction.





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