We noted in our EU carnet section recently that a driver’s sandwiches could be confiscated. A little tongue in cheek but as the video shows, this is happening for real and is far from the only sticking point.
More serious issues at ports and with related paperwork will not be news to our clients. A number of companies in the UK and the EU have suspended, or cut back deliveries across the channel, as they grapple with change.
Prime ministerial statements on the Brexit deal enabling UK goods to be sold without tariffs, or quotas and all non-tariff barriers being removed have not mirrored reality. As with most trade deals, regulatory barriers were scantily addressed.
The deal is in reality a framework, which will develop over time. Procedures, commitments and changes in trade levels will be tested, the joint committees set up to oversee trade and explore improvements should be busy.
Rules of origin will be high on the list, when at present if more than 40% of a product is not British, tariffs can apply. Sounds straightforward but is a complex issue for a wide range of businesses.
Other hitches often raised include systems for processing paperwork, VAT on low value goods and specialist compliance issues. There is much to be done to make the deal real world and we hope those involved do so.
Larger businesses have been just as inconvenienced but may hold the resources and budgets to find workarounds. Others could struggle, or rebase in the EU, as rather oddly has been recommended by UK government business advisers.
Coping With Change
With the unwanted mix of Covid-19 and Brexit, hauliers, freight forwarders and individual business travellers have had a difficult time. Lack of notice, or definition regarding the deal did not help.
As pre Brexit stockpiles unwind, disruption may increase, along with a need to avoid this. The parting which has taken place may be the cause but this is unchangeable and must be worked with, in an effective way.
Incomplete, or invalid customs data has been at the root of a fair share of issues. As hard as this is, we all have to comply with the detail, to avoid delays, or business loss.
Since January 1st 2021, we are supplying ATA carnets for the EU. They are being scrupulously prepared, to avoid any border issues and above all, we are taking the time to advise and assist a number of new carnet users.
Knowledge will spread on many aspects of the deal, which will also gradually develop. We truly sympathise with the problems you may be encountering but do believe that given time, trade will find a way and bring less headaches.