Government releases ‘No-deal Brexit’ advice for businesses exporting to the EU

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The British government has released 25 papers advising different business sectors and individuals on what they should do to prepare for a ‘no-deal Brexit’. These are the first of 80 such documents with specific advice for businesses.

If you ship goods to the EU, it’s well worth having a look at the advice related to sending goods to member states if you trade internationally at the moment. (There’s also advice related to imports which will be relevant to many too.) In the event of a no-deal Brexit, also called a hard Brexit, the UK will leave the European Union on the 30th March 2019. That’s in 218 days time.

There are numerous topics addressed, including issues related to healthcare supplies and nuclear material, but the document of direct importance and interest to ecommerce merchants shipping goods to the EU is Trading with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal. You can find the full document here.

Businesses should now consider the impacts on them in a ‘no deal’ scenario, which would mean a requirement to apply the same customs and excise rules to goods traded with the EU that apply for goods traded outside of the EU, including the requirement to submit customs declarations. Businesses should consider whether it is appropriate for them to acquire software and/or engage a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to support them with these new requirements.
– UK Government

And one specific issue relates to the UK’s only land border with the EU between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The commentary here is very vague:

We will provide more information in due course. The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU member states. We would recommend that, if you trade across the land border, you should consider whether you will need advice from the Irish government about preparations you need to make.
– UK Government

There is lots to absorb and understand here. But one message is clear: exports to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit will need more paperwork and likely experience delays should this eventuality occur. The real question is what the likelihood of there being no Brexit deal really is. Some politicians say that there is a 50% probability of no agreement being made.

There’s probably no point in expending a great deal of energy just yet preparing for a Hard Brexit. It should become clear in the next month or so whether an agreement will be made or not. The EU has said it wants the principles of a draft agreement to be approved at a summit in October.

11 Responses

  1. I may be being a bit thick, but shouldn’t it be just like I currently ship to Aus and USA etc, although AUS has it’s GST thingy.

    So for that £10.00 item, just whack customs label on and send as normal !!

    I am sure it will be made as complex as possible but it should be just the same as sending to countries o/s the EU.

  2. “But one message is clear: exports to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit will need more paperwork and likely experience delays should this eventuality occur”.

    That is the big worry, People do not WAIT these day’s, orders held up at customs so someone can tick boxes would be a disaster. This would probably put us out of business as most our orders from all channels go into the EU as we have tried to build our business this way….trading conditions are as tough as they have ever been right now without this impending Tory disaster.
    “Paperwork and bureaucratics are a e-commerce sellers worst nightmare.

    The UK market is a race the bottom for many of us and we could not survive without those EU sales….
    I have been looking for jobs for the first time in 10 years as my backup plan I do have genuine concerns the Tory Brexiteers will get their way.

  3. I hardly sell anything to the EU. 40% to the USA, but that’s overwhelmingly hassle free. It requires a customs label, but seems to go straight through. It will only be difficult if the EU want it to be difficult as a point of policy, it doesn’t have to be.


    “New picture warnings will be needed for cigarette packets as the EU owns the copyright to the current ones”

    Just seen the above.
    Oh, I love it.
    Are the piccies on fag packets so up there on the political agenda.
    Best stay in the EU so we can carry on using the images.
    It’s not like there are any other images to use!

  5. my head hurts with it all
    wish they would just get on with it
    we will deal with it, as long as we know what to deal with

  6. Interesting it does not mention CE marking and related relevant information such as technical files and declarations of conformity (DoC). If your item needs CE marking, it also needs a DoC which must include the address IN THE EU where your technical file can be obtained from. Once outside the EU Docs are likely to be inspected more and 90% of the ones I check are wrong, so make sure it is correct.


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