We are ready for Brexit
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on the 31st January 2020. The transition period has passed many people by, in part due to COVID-19, which has dominated the headlines this year. Industry-wide there has been a recognition that a lack of official communication has caused some issues over what 2021 will bring.
In a recent survey conducted by the British International Freight Association (BIFA) 64% of the members who responded felt "Government announcements, publications and information are insufficient and need to be more accurate and clearer." (survey September 2020)
As the 1st January 2021 fast approaches, the government has increased its awareness campaign for businesses who import and export throughout the EU. No matter what deal that the European Union and the United Kingdom reach, it will still mean considerable changes to the way we handle goods entering and leaving the UK.
At KC Group Shipping, we have invested time and financial resource, including over £100,000 updating our IT software, hardware and infrastructure to ensure we are ready to keep your goods moving. Our software not only has a direct interface with HMRC but is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capable, to connect seamlessly to your business logistics software and systems. We can also offer deferment account facilities to support payment of VAT/Duty to HMRC.
We have also made a significant investment in personnel with five new team members joining KC Group Shipping. To ensure every member of our team understand how this new investment and Brexit regulations will impact our business and yours, all staff have undergone thorough training over the last few months.
Border Regulation Expertise
Currently, over 70% of the trade lanes operated by KC Group Shipping are out with the EU market, which demonstrates our experience in handling export and import regulations for most of our client base. However, we understand many businesses will suddenly find themselves facing significant changes in the way they need to approach European trade, which will be a huge learning curve for many.
KC Group Shipping has a European network of customs experts covering every country within the European Union and the European Economic Area countries, including Norway and Switzerland, which have always been subject to additional requirements.
Although at the time of writing, negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union were still taking place, there are several fundamental changes which every import/export business must follow to be Brexit ready for 2021.
EORI number - have you got yours?
You currently require an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) to move goods between the UK and Non-EU countries. But from 1 January 2021, you will need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and the EU. Although the exchange of goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is still to be detailed, the expectation is for a digital border as outlined by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove in August.
Some GB traders may also need to apply for an EU EORI number. Traders need an EU EORI number if their business will be making customs declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU.
Not having an EORI will incur costs and delays in clearing goods. One common type of identification number in the future should be more efficient, both for economic operators and customs authorities.
To apply for an EORI number, visit the gov.uk site by clicking here. use this link https://www.gov.uk/eori?step-by-step-nav=1faad9b3-e5ef-47f6-a3ba-4715e7e4f263
Declaring goods from 1st January 2021
If you currently import goods from the EEA and the rest of the world, then nothing much should change from your current way of working. EU customs will fall into line with these existing controls. The most significant changes will apply to licences and certificates for bringing certain goods into the UK. There may also be an inspection fee before goods are released, these include:
- Live animals and animal products
- Fish for human consumption
- Fish or shellfish for aquaculture
- Fish for ornamental purposes
- Plants and plant products
- Veterinary medicines
- Wood and timber
- Controlled drugs
- Pharmaceutical products
What else will change?
There will be changes to how product marking and labelling will have to comply with new standards from 2021. New marketing standards will also apply to food, animal products and hops. An example of this is current CE marked goods produced in the UK will need to change to UKCE by January 2022.
As the UK and EU are still in negotiations, the outcome of these will impact on tariffs between both economic areas. Any talk of tariffs rates would only be speculation at the moment, with the hope of some clarity coming at the earliest opportunity.
KC Shipping - ready to help beyond 2021
Our expertise, experience and forward planning will ensure your business will have a minimum impact from Brexit. Our processes and systems are in place to ensure no matter what we all experience from the 1st January 2021. We are ready to support you and your business operations. We hope this article will help guide you through some of the stages to ensure you are ready for Brexit.