In a year in which we have been rightly preoccupied by concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, it has been easy to forget that Brexit is looming. The fact is, however, that many new processes will come into force with regard to European markets and we all need to take steps to prepare for them.
We would like to help and support our customers prepare for Britain’s imminent departure from the EU, by offering reassurance and practical assistance to ensure you are ready and confident for a seamless transition.
The following information is a useful resource to bring you up to speed with the details and processes.
What Is The Latest On Brexit?
On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament ratified the Brexit withdrawal agreement that had been ratified earlier in January by the UK Parliament.
Key details are:
As a consequence, on 31 January 2020 the UK left the European Union and the Transition Period as stated in the Withdrawal Agreement began.
*It will last until 31 December 2020, allowing the UK and the EU to negotiate a Trade Deal that would be applicable as of 1 January 2021.
* We can confirm that during this period it is very much business as usual and we will deliver your goods to the EU exactly as we do today.
* C & D South West and Our Pallet Network, Palletforce will ensure that we are ‘Brexit ready’ whatever the scenario and whatever the final date of exit, so that your can continue to ship pallets throughout the EU.
* Even if the UK negotiates a Trade Deal with the EU on or before 31 December 2020, we will require additional mandatory data from you in order to keep shipping into and from the EU.
Two Brexit Scenarios
Here is a summary of the two different scenarios:
In the worst-case scenario, if a trade deal is not agreed by 31 December 2020, the UK may leave the EU with no deal. This may leave us trading with the EU under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, in the same way that we currently trade with the USA and other countries with which we have no formal trade deal or arrangement.
What does this mean to you?
- Customs declarations will be required for each consignment – both a customs declaration and a security declaration (likely combined into a single declaration to customs).
- For export, additional information for the consignee in the EU is required – EORI number and contact details.
- Our rates will change as a result of customs handling.
- Transit times will increase because of customs checks.
- Inspections will take place on some goods imported or exported – controlled products may need export/import licences and foodstuffs will also come under new controls.
- Detailed data will be required to export goods into Europe or import them into the UK.
Assuming the UK and the EU negotiate a trade deal.
What does this mean to you?
Some goods between the UK and EU may still be subject to duties and VAT.
Other than this difference everything else is consistent with No Deal – a free trade deal does not remove the responsibilities for managing goods across the border between the UK and the EU.
The situation with Northern Ireland remains fluid pending the Governments Internal Markets Bill passing into law.
Please see our Brexit survey, which we encourage you to complete and return to us. It will give us an understanding of the kind of preparations you have made and collectively where our focus needs to be moving forward.
Your can complete our survey here.
We are keen to learn what your plans for Brexit are and what kind of help you might need in a post-Brexit world. Whilst every business is different, and plans will be individual to the needs of each business, our Palletforce Network aims to help you prepare for Brexit in any way we can.
The next few sections will outline several areas that will help you get you ready for Brexit and continue to ship successfully to/from the EU.
How can shippers best prepare for Brexit?
UK.gov has written to all UK VAT registered businesses this week outlining the requirements for shippers to be ready ahead of Brexit – please click this link to view.
Getting a pallet from Birmingham to Paris today is just as easy as moving one from Birmingham to Newcastle.
Following the end of Transition, additional pieces of information will be required for every pallet shipment to ensure it can move across the border.
There will be a new booking screen and new data fields in Alliance that you will need to complete to ensure your pallets travel to and from the EU with no delays.
Commodity codes also known as HS codes represent the product or products that shippers are sending and can be recognised worldwide by all customs systems in countries that are members of the WTO, including the EU. This eliminates language barriers and issues with vague descriptions at customs clearance points.
There is no specific code for a pair of branded trainers, but there is a code for footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics, so you may end up using the same code for various products of the same type.
To ensure you can export they need to provide us with the 8-digit format of your commodity code.
Providing a detailed product description is necessary to ensure shipments clear customs. Descriptions must be specific and accurate, see below:
More detailed than what you might be used to, these need to be fairly detailed to ensure there is no ambiguity about what you are sending. If there is any doubt from customs about what is inside a pallet, goods may be subject to delays.
You can register for an EORI number easily by visiting gov.uk/eori
In the UK, an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is assigned to importers and exporters by HMRC and is used during the customs clearance process for both import and export shipments travelling to or from the EU and countries outside the EU. In a post-Brexit world, it will be a mandatory requirement to have an EORI number to ship into the EU from the UK.
Country of Origin
Declaring which country that products were manufactured or produced in is crucial for international trade. It has an impact on duty and tax rates, and security checks if required.
A correct declaration of the sale value of goods, supported by the commercial invoice is key to ensure that imported products pay the appropriate level of duty/taxes on arrival. Under-declaration will lead to HMRC penalties on exporters compounded to prosecution. Importers can face similar penalties including seizure of goods.
The total weight of your pallets or consignment in KG. Alliance requests Gross and Nett Weight is completed.
We need the package description – i.e. a barrel will need to be declared as a barrel, we can’t auto populate everything with “pallet”.
Reason for Export
For all consignments, you will need to supply a ‘Reason for Export or Import’.
Alliance has been defined to request the Customs Procedure Code (CPC) – this must be dictated by the shipper / importer and not assumed by Palletforce. It is the reason for import or export, expressed as either a seven digit number or a six digit number and one letter. It describes the purpose of shipment which in turn directly determines how the shipment is processed and ultimately if, how, when and from whom duties and taxes are collected.
Terms of Trade
International trade terms may change if the UK and the EU agree on a trade deal. Once details of the trade arrangements are known, Palletforce will make sure you are covered for any regular export shipping requirements.
Data, Not Paper
As part of our drive to be a clean, green company our network Palletforce will not be accepting paper invoices post-Brexit. However, there may be circumstances where additional documentation will need to accompany the goods at the border. The vast majority of the data you need to give us, to transport your pallets when we leave the EU will be required electronically – uploaded to Alliance.
Alliance will be updated before the UK leaves the EU to ensure we capture all the information we need.
We’ve already encouraged you to get recipient contact name and phone number for EU shipments, however post-Brexit contact information will become integral to sending pallets to the EU and this requirement will be mandatory in Alliance
What Can You Do Now?
We have provided a handy checklist below to successfully declare yourself ‘Brexit Ready’.
Summary checklist for shippers
* Register with HMRC for an EORI number.
* Classify goods with the correct 8-digit commodity code.
* Classify which CPC code is required for your EU shipments.
* Ensure the product country of origin is declared on accompanying invoices or data.
* Ensure all product values are declared accurately on accompanying invoices or data.
* Check product descriptions are accurate and compliant against the commodity code.
* Ensure Consignee telephone numbers and addresses are captured.
* Decide on the Terms of Delivery and ensure this is in the data passed to C & D South West Ltd.
* Check that all additional required information is passed through to your C & D South West Ltd in the data from your systems.
* Check what additional controls are required on your goods Post Brexit – products requiring export licences, foodstuffs or animal by-products needing control for example.
* When importing ensure you give details of the deferment account to be used for any duty or taxes liable.
We hope you have found this information useful, but please contact us with any questions you may have regarding shipping your goods overseas.
C & D South West Ltd
Delivering Loads Of Quality