As you may have read, or even heard, the UK Government is now turning its attention to all matters Brexit related. This includes imports into the UK.
Whilst the UK has left the European Union already, there are going to be major changes, challenges and opportunities as we leave the Customs Union on the 31 December 2020. Then our relationship with Europe is severed.
What does Brexit mean for imports into the UK?
So what does all this mean for importers in to the UK? The answer is most probably ‘it depends where you are importing from’. For companies who purchase from the EU, they will, from 1st of January be importing into the UK. Currently the UK is part of the customs union and in effect one big market for trade purposes
Easing into the Brexit changes
For the first six months the UK will have a fairly relaxed attitude to imports from the EU. Importers will be allowed a full six months to declare to customs after importing. After the six months bedding in period, the process will be very similar to importing from the rest of the world.
For more details on the changes that Brexit will bring, there is a lot of background information on the .gov.uk website. It is very possible that this may change and be updated over the coming months. Our focus with imports has always been non EU trade.
Non EU Imports
With regard to non-EU imports, the good news is that nothing will change. There will be no backlogs or chaotic scenes, especially as in the main, non-EU trade arrives at different UK ports. So no need to panic! In fact, it may be that leaving the Customs Union may, in a round about way, be a benefit to you. If you are a non-EU importer, the playing field will be level again.
EU & Non EU Competition
Many of our customers complain that they have to compete with sellers routing via EU countries into the UK. This method helps to avoid UK VAT, and gains competitive advantage. This will not be possible from the beginning of next year.
If you do purchase from the EU rather than importing from China (for example), now may be time to re-think your purchasing arrangements!
Instead of getting caught up in what looks to us in the trade as the inevitable chaos of importing from Europe, why not side-step all of this and look to source further afield. Consider importing from China or import from the USA.
You might even find that what you are now purchasing from Europe has originally come from much further afield. In many cases, European supplies are just traders – originally getting their merchandise from further afield.
We have been helping companies import into the UK for over 30 years now, so please contact us for any help, advice or questions about any aspect of our service. Please use the contact form on the website, call us on (0)1606 272 880 or use the instant chat facility on the site.