No Deal Brexit considerations for your Amazon business

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Amazon have today emailed their merchants highlighting no deal Brexit considerations ahead of the 29th of March 2019. With the date fast approaching no one really knows what’s going to happen and while vast amounts of column inches have been filled with Brexit considerations, until a deal is finalised nothing is agreed.

There are only three possible outcomes – A deal negotiated between the UK and EU, no deal, or a last minute reversal of the Governments position and remaining in the EU. The former two outcomes still appear the most likely with a no deal Brexit becoming much more likely if the Government loses a vote on Theresa May’s current negotiated deal – the vote will take place in the week beginning the 14th of January.

Amazon’s email to merchants directs them to read reams of information produced by civil servants setting out their options in the case of a no deal Brexit. Along with a ‘Partnership Pack’ there are over 100 notices to read none of which set out a simple and easily comprehensible strategy for how an online merchant might carry on trading with the EU in a no deal scenario. It’s not particularly surprising, because with under three months to go to Brexit any no deal arrangements would depend in part on the EU agreeing to processes put in place.

It would be fair to say that the Government appears totally unprepared for a no deal Brexit with practically zero useful information on the scenario directed at small businesses. Rushing out a so called partnership package on the 2nd of January with little to no interpretation simply isn’t good enough. Let us know if it helps you understand how you would continue to sell to the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Amazon’s email to merchants

Amazon is committed to supporting UK businesses selling in Europe and worldwide, and helping businesses around the world sell in the UK and Europe. The UK government has advised businesses to prepare for a range of potential outcomes for the UK’s scheduled departure from the European Union on March 29, 2019, including a Brexit in which no deal has been reached with the European Union.

While the UK government says this outcome is unlikely, it advises that a “no deal” Brexit could result in a temporary period of border disruption, impacting movement of goods between the UK and European Union countries starting on March 29, 2019. You might want to work directly with your fulfilment partners to plan accordingly.

The UK government has produced a partnership pack to prepare for changes at the UK/EU border in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. This includes customs, excise, VAT and regulatory changes.

We will continue to monitor UK government guidance on Brexit, and will update you further as necessary.”
– Amazon Services Europe

4 Responses

  1. I don’t think the government knows we exist. Well over half my turnover is exports and I’m VAT registered in DE and FR. I’m the sort of company they should encourage but all their advice and help is targeted to firms selling large single items/batches.

  2. Same situation as Merlo., there should be advice on how to relocate part of your business to the EU, but here is nothing. Alternatively, a section on Prepare for Bankruptcy should be provided.

  3. I can already see such services of setting up companies in EU countries to rise in popularity as that will be one of the ways to go – especially for businesses who sell A LOT to EU countries. Basically, you just need to pick one EU country, with a friendly corporate tax system, good logistics service and you can continue working in Europe as normal. Yes, there will be extra admin costs but most likely it will be well worth it considering the alternative…

    And if you only sell on Amazon, then it will actually be much easier as you can simply use Amazon’s warehouses in Europe and ship from there to EU customers.

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