U.K. Faces $2 Billion EU Demand on Customs Failures, Times Says

(Bloomberg) -- Britain will have to settle a 2 billion-euro ($2.17 billion) charge from the European Union over customs fraud before it can agree a Brexit trade deal, the Times newspaper reported in its Tuesday edition, citing unidentified EU officials.

The charge relates to claims that Britain has failed to stop Chinese gangs dodging customs dues and tax by bringing goods into the EU through British ports.

The U.K. accepts lower values for shipments of clothing and shoes than other EU countries, allowing criminals to avoid levies and make big profits when they sell into the rest of the EU, the Times said, citing “official figures.”