Brexit has been shrouded in uncertainty since the day the referendum made the decision final. This debate has seen a metamorphosis; making life post-Brexit seem very much a blur.
Importers’ and exporters’ worries have been amplified since the UK’s official departure from the European Union on January 31st 2020. We’ll be exploring potential situations you may be facing, what to expect now that the cord has been cut, and peace of mind that the Thomas Smith shipping experts will guide you in the best way possible should your cargo need to depart from or reach the United Kingdom.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION ABOUT BREXIT?
During the upcoming months, the United Kingdom together with the European Union will start proceedings so that its power as a member state is removed. A transition period has been determined to undergo all necessary discussions; ensuring a smooth system is implemented to avoid any unnecessary disruptions.
HOW WILL MERCHANTS BE AFFECTED?
THE UK WILL REMAIN PART OF THE EU CUSTOMS UNION DURING THE TRANSITION
The EU Customs Union implies that no tariffs are set between members of the EU, also imposing a common external tariff on all goods entering the European Union for non-members. This measure was implemented to inspire a sense of unity between the member states and enhance imports and exports between these countries. Until the transition period is over, the UK will still form part of such a union; meaning that the state will have the same trade regulations as Malta.
Post-Brexit, the UK will not be obliged to follow EU legislation, allowing the country to impose its own taxes and duties accordingly. Indeed, the current UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has hinted that he is inclined towards a free trade agreement legislation.
Possessing the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, Thomas Smith is recognised as a trusted customs partner; showing compliance and reliability within the supply chain field. Such accreditation promises full adherence to customs requirements, recognised by both EU and international markets; ensuring all your declaration processes are managed by a team of experienced personnel. If you’re interested in hassle-free customs clearance and door-to-door delivery, get in touch with us and our team will follow up with your request.
UNCERTAINTY ABOUT UK PORT CALLS BY CONTAINER COMPANIES
When shipping goods from the UK, direct shipments from the UK ports are undoubtedly preferred. Changes to shipping procedures and the possible introduction of new taxes and customs processes, direct vessel calls to the UK might be limited and/or replaced by feeder services, which might stretch lead times. Having Thomas Smith as your shipping partner will ensure you’ll get professional guidance and hands-on support to ensure your cargo gets to Malta through the fastest and safest route.
PROCESSES WILL CHANGE ONCE THE UK IS CONSIDERED A THIRD COUNTRY
Once Brexit is finalised, the UK will be classified as a “third country”. This term means that any goods imported from the non-European country will be subject to variable customs controls, VAT and licence requisitions. Such procedures did not previously exist between member states, and will remain consistent between EU countries post-Brexit. After the UK’s divorce, it will relinquish such rights and be subjected to third country regulations. Smoothening problematic areas is what the transition period was set out for, which will also give you the time and opportunity to speak to our shipping professionals regarding any challenges you’re concerned about. We’ll be able to share our solution-driven shipping strategies, upholding quality service as a top priority.
DELAYS MIGHT BE EXPERIENCED
Extended lead times might be expected, as border controls adjust to new practices. An adjustment period is foreseen, following changes relating to paperwork and cargo inspections. Documentation required for review prior to goods processing might vary from what you might have been accustomed to. Altering your procedures doesn’t need to take its toll on your time. Our shipping staff have become familiar with the obligations you have to follow and can guide you accordingly; without the need to waste your time and effort away from more vital business activities.
The following months will give you time to get your affairs in order and familiarise yourself with the new system. At Thomas Smith, our departments are prepared for all outcomes and can easily assist the transition and getting your cargo procedures in order for a smooth shift. Speak to our assistance teams on [email protected] and let our professionals facilitate life post-Brexit for you.