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DHL hires hundreds of customs staff to prepare for no-deal Brexit

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Deutsche Post DHL has hired hundreds of workers to deal with new customs procedures expected to be imposed after March 29, when Britain is due to leave the European Union, an executive said on Tuesday.

Europe is Britain's largest trading partner. New tariffs and goods clearance procedures could be introduced unless Britain secures a deal on future relations with the 28-member bloc before it leaves.

John Pearson, chief executive of the DHL Express subsidiary, told Reuters his company "began hiring in earnest about three months ago" and had been recruiting about 50 new workers a week.

"These are people on the ground in the hubs. They are coming onto our payroll sitting in a hub facility probably processing customs paperwork to make sure that the goods are cleared quickly," he said in an interview.

"We are recognising that if, in a no-deal scenario customs will be the be all and end all, then we don't want to be caught short," he said.

Pearson, who took up the job in January, did not specify how Brexit would directly impact the company's business, but said "if there was a no deal suddenly announced on March 29 we would be more ready than anyone else."

DHL, one of Europe's largest parcel deliverers with major operations across the EU and Britain, transports goods by air and road between the two trading regions.


(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Writing by Toby Sterling; Editing by Edmund Blair)