By Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German logistics group DB Schenker said it would stop accepting Britain-bound consignments for the time being after the Brexit trade deal between the European Union and Britain left customers confused over customs requirements.
The haulier, a subsidiary of Germany's state-owned railway group Deutsche Bahn, said on Wednesday it needs to clear a backlog of missing or wrongly filled-in customs forms before it can accept any new business because only about one in ten UK-bound shipments are fully documented.
DB Schenker is the leader in European land transport serving auto makers, drugmakers and retailers, among other industries, according to its website.
In its statement, the company pleaded with customers to familiarise themselves with the new paperwork requirements and pointed to specially trained DB Schenker staff for assistance.
"DB Schenker expects a further increase of shipments in January. The logistics service staff will only be able to process these swiftly if there is a considerable rise in the rate of shipments with complete papers."
The transition to the new trade regime has been bumpy. Scottish fishermen have warned that the trade deal has disrupted their export routines and put their business at risk.
British retailer Marks & Spencer said last week the new rules was responsible for near-empty fresh-food aisles at some of its stores in Ireland.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that problems in supplying supermarkets in Northern Ireland might prompt Britain to trigger safeguard provisions in the divorce deal.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)