Due to changes in Customs procedures and excise rules post-Brexit, UK spirits producers found it increasingly difficult to maintain supply chain efficiencies when transporting high-value alcoholic spirit products to the EU under excise duty suspension.
A globally recognised Scottish whisky producer requested the KC Group Shipping (KC) team to provide end-to-end short sea transportation and Customs solutions for several thousand ISO tank containers of bulk whisky.
Our challenge was finding a solution for moving duty suspended bulk whisky from Scotland to various excise warehouses in Europe whilst adhering to newly imposed, post-Brexit, customs procedures and ensuring they did not disrupt the supply chain.
The tanks were moved from Scotland to Teesport by rail and then to mainland Europe via Zeebrugge/Rotterdam and the Port of Hamburg. The main challenge to overcome was transporting the tanks on both UK and EU road networks whilst under bond – given the excise dutiable value potentially exceeding 1,000,000 Euros per tank container.
The solution had to be cost-effective, seamless, and most importantly, adhere to newly imposed customs procedures within the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.
With KC’s dedicated in-house Customs Management team completing the UK export declarations and using KC’s Excise Duty Movement Guarantee, we could manage the processes quickly and effectively.
We would include the exporter's ARC numbers with the declarations to ensure timely “close off” of the UK excise movement and quickly eliminate our client's duty liability.
However, with recently introduced post-Brexit customs procedures new to everyone, the KC Group Shipping Customs Management team had to find a robust solution to support the client.
The initial discussions and brainstorming sessions over Teams with the client revealed the most appropriate and cost-effective way to move the goods with our partners in Europe. We agreed to move the tanks from European Ports under T1 transit procedures to various local inland Customs offices at the country of destination using our European duty excise guarantee. We would create the T1 and upload the details to the Customs Portals directly to minimise potential customs delays.
We implemented new processes and changed the routings with all partners and equipment operators, which included new Customs stops in the end-to-end process. With the excise duty amounts at risk, we needed to ensure all stakeholders understood and complied with the new procedures.
Once the tanks had arrived at the Country of Destination – France, Netherlands, and Germany – we worked with local Customs to discharge the T1 document. The final stage of the process included Import Customs Clearance and the issuance of e-AD documents – finally allowing the product to be safely discharged to long term storage within silo tanks.
Our approach and project delivery were immensely successful for all involved. KC had regular dialogue with all stakeholders, ensuring everybody understood their key roles and objectives before loading the first tank.
There was no interruption to delivering the UK Export process. Despite nominal post-Brexit delays at European Borders, the first tank container arrived at the destination within the anticipated time frame.
The initial consignments movement was the first of many for what is now another key client of KC Group Shipping. We continue to work closely with this significant exporter and importer to this day. Our proactive and creative approach to providing the solution for this project has been the foundation in the client trusting and contracting KC on further projects.
Our experience and expertise identified the challenges, and our approach delivered the right solution. In the shadow of Brexit and the midst of the Covid lockdown, once again, the KC team demonstrated the professionalism, knowledge, and determination for which they are renowned.
ARC number: Administrative Reference Code allocated to each movement of duty suspended goods
T1: Document which must economy all import/export goods, to and from the UK/EU
e-AD: Export Accompanying Document, which serves as proof from a competent customs office that export is admissible. The EAD is issued after an exporter submits an export declaration form and examines the exporting goods.