Brexit and Shipping to and from the EU

Are You Prepared For Brexit Changes?

Exporting to & importing from the EU is changing significantly.


    • Do you know what documents will be required after Brexit?


    • Are you aware of the changes to regulations effective post-Brexit?


    • Have you made a calculation of the additional costs you will face?


    • Do you need freight experts to advise you on Brexit changes?
Brexit and shipping

* You must take action if you export goods to the EU or transport goods out of the UK by road!

* You must also check what you need to do now if you import goods from the EU or sell services to the EU.

* There are also likely to be different rules for moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Request A Complimentary Brexit Shipping Consultation

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    freight forwarding after Brexit

    Brexit - What it means for export businesses

    As of 1st January 2021 rules and regulations covering the import and export of freight and cargo from the UK to the EU will undergo significant transformation as the UK formally leaves the European Union.

    These changes are of the utmost importance to any individual or business planning to, or in the process of, trading with Europe.

    At time of writing a no-deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely, but regardless of whether a deal is agreed or the UK is forced to trade on World Trade Organisation rules there will be far-reaching and significant changes to import/export procedures after 31st December 2020.

    Brexit shipping


    In this article you can read about;


    Using A Freight Forwarder Service

    What Brexit Means for Exports

    Are British Business Ready?

    Air Cargo & Brexit

    Border Control & Customs After Brexit

    Complimentary Brexit Shipping Consultation

    Using A Freight Forwarder

    For those businesses employing the services of a professional freight forwarder there will be minimal additional work as this will be completed, as usual, by your freight forwarder.

    For businesses and individuals organising their own cargo transport it is vitally important that they familiarise themselves with the new requirements and start preparing now, if they haven’t done so already.

    What Brexit means for exports

    As part of the EU, the UK was part of a customs and VAT alignment that made sending goods to and from Britain to Europe extremely easy.

    The arrangement virtually eliminated customs delays and excessive paperwork when moving goods, removing barriers to trade across the EU.

    It also meant that there were no customs duties to pay and that goods were able to travel through another EU country en route to their final destination in the same frictionless way.

    After Brexit this ‘frictionless’ movement of goods will cease and customs documents will be required to transport goods to and from EU territories.

    Every EU nation has specific regulations for this that UK businesses will need to understand and adhere to if they want to continue trading.

    British businessand brexit
    UK Business Brexit

    UK Government Advice: Use A Freight Forwarder

    It is highly likely that customs duties will become payable when you bring goods into the UK.

    Similarly your EU customers might have to settle customs charges after receiving goods from you.

    Due to the complexity of dealing with multiple territories with differing rules and regulations it is the UK government’s advice that importers and exporters should use the expertise of professional freight forwarders to help them negotiate the many pitfalls inherent in post-Brexit trade with the EU.

    The alternative for businesses is to understand complex customs regulations for each country and learn and utilise new computer systems, which for a lot of smaller businesses is simply not viable.

    Are British Business Ready?

    The demand for freight forwarding services will keep growing significantly up to and well beyond 1st January 2021 and businesses are urged to start their planning and preparation now or risk leaving it too late!

    Indeed only 25% of businesses consider that they are ready for Brexit and a recent IOD survey noted;

    Only a quarter of business leaders say their organisations are fully ready for the end of the Brexit transition period, in a new survey from the Institute of Directors… Nearly half of the 978 company directors polled in late June said they weren’t able to prepare right now, with one in seven distracted by coronavirus and almost a third saying they needed the details of any changes to be clear before adjusting.Institute of Directors

    Using professional freight forwarding services takes away a lot of the pressure on businesses to adjust as these companies provide fully done-for-you services meaning that businesses do not have to divert valuable resources to deal with the new regulations.

    Keen, director general of BIFA, the trade organisation representing many of the UK’s freight forwarders, notes;

    …businesses trading with the EU that have not had to worry about the free circulations of goods between the UK and EU will need to seriously consider partnering with a freight forwarder that is experienced in complying with the customs and excise rules for trade moving to and from the UK and countries that are not in the EU.   Those rules cover all manner of things including, but not limited to, import and export declarations and licences, revised terms and conditions of service, VAT and duties, plus entry and exit declarations.   It is in the legal and customs arenas that businesses will probably see the most impact when moving their freight internationally, and that is where freight forwarders can help.   They should concentrate on their own core business and let their freight forwarder provide the services that they need to move freight between the UK and EU.Robert Keen, Director General, BIFA
    Request A Complimentary Brexit Shipping Consultation

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      Air Cargo & Brexit

      Air cargo to and from the EU will be subject to the same requirements as is cargo from the rest of the world after Brexit. The knock on effects of this will almost certainly affect businesses not directly responsible for air transport as additional paperwork and delays cause issues down the supply chain.

      One way to mitigate potential delays is for businesses to apply for TSP - Transitional Simplified Procedures - which enable businesses importing to the UK to speed up the delivery by deferring a full import customs declaration until a later date.

      This will allow cargo to pass through UK customs more quickly, avoiding delays and backlogs.

      Finally, the advice is to be prepared to collaborate and work with others because change is coming, whether we like it or not.

      In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the same procedures will be applied to EU trade that currently apply to the rest of the world, meaning overnight changes to trade and a huge increase in the number of declarations for imports and exports.

      air cargo and Brexit
      shipping by air after brexit

      Border Control and Customs

      Whilst there are a wide variety of changes coming as a result of Brexit the crux of the issue of moving cargo from one port to another comes down to passing through border control and customs as quickly as possible.

      Delays cost money and make everything more expensive as well as causing logistical problems down-chain, which eventually impact individuals and businesses in multiple ways as goods do not arrive as and when they should.

      The ability to gain rapid clearance of your cargo through border controls and customs is vital to the timely delivery of your cargo and being able to mitigate against unnecessary or random stops and checks is a key part of this.

      The ability to do this will depend on access to a vast bank of knowledge that most businesses will not have access to.

      This is exactly why the government is advising businesses to use the service of freight forwarding professionals to help them navigate the choppy waters of post-Brexit trade.

      Complimentary Shipping Consultation

      Reporting in The Independent highlights Lord Agnew’s contention that British business has its “head in the sand” over Brexit and that 80% of businesses are not ready for Brexit.

      This is hardly surprising given that the UK is still locked in an exhausting battle with Coronavirus and its effects on economic activity, but even more relevant is that fact that with negotiations still ongoing with the EU over the terms of the UK withdrawal there is no clear guidance on what the actual rules will be, which makes it difficult to do any specific planning.

      If you have questions or concerns about planning for the post-Brexit shipping, or just want to some clear advice about how to prepare your business for the upcoming changes then simply complete the form below and we will arrange a complimentary, no-obligation telephone consultation to answer all your questions and give you a clear route to dealing with business after Brexit.

      Request A Complimentary Brexit Shipping Consultation

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