Are you ready for shipping post Brexit?

Posted by Chris Houghton

Brexit and what is happening? 

As of January 1st 2021 we start a new era of trading outside of the EU. Over the coming weeks we will provide updates and guidance on how we can all be in the best position to help with the transition and provide you with the right information, choices and services needed to help your business. 
Businesses will fall into one of the below scenarios. 

  • Those who have experience sending outside of the EU. You will already have an understanding of how this will work, in terms of providing the correct paperwork, such as Commercial Invoices and Duties & Taxes. 
  • Those who have only ever shipped within the EU. There is much to understand and prepare for – that’s where we can help.

The future trade relationship between the UK and EU depends on the outcome of current negotiations between the two. While nothing will change until the post-Brexit transition period ends on December 31st 2020, there are currently two likely scenarios on how UK-EU trade will be conducted from January 1st 2021:

  • A Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The UK and EU are aiming to conclude a FTA by the end of the transition period. The details of this are still unknown but it is likely that a FTA would mean that tariffs and quotas would not be applied on the majority of goods traded between the UK and EU. There could be some exemptions to this, however, and a FTA is unlikely to eliminate all customs checks so additional paperwork and other formalities could still be required.
  • WTO terms: If a FTA cannot be agreed in time, the UK and the EU will trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. Shipments will be subject to customs clearance and inspections, while tariffs are expected to be imposed on goods that the UK sends to EU countries and on goods EU countries send to the UK Carriers Brexit Check List, Services and Surcharges.

The carriers have informed us of their concerns and the reality that there will be delays in transit during the early days and weeks of January. These delays will be particularly on the Road/Economy services into Europe. Whilst the carriers will do their very best to minimise such delays, they anticipate this to be around 24/48 hours… as an average.

Due to the amount of shipments between the UK and EU countries, the carriers have had to employ hundreds of additional brokers and customs clearance personnel, IT systems, storage facilities, aircraft etc. and due to these costs ALL carriers are looking at implementing a ‘Brexit Surcharge’ or ‘UK-EU Customs Surcharge’ for all customers/shipments – regardless of whether you use a 3rd party provider or a carrier direct.

Please get in touch if you have any questions, we’re here to help.