UK Ecommerce needs to prepare for EU border checks from January 2021

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Cross-border ecommerce retailers in the UK have been warned that full border checks will be imposed on any goods entering the EU from the 1st of January next year.

With the ongoing impact from the coronavirus pandemic, and the biggest recession in history about to hit us, ongoing trade with the EU is going to be critical. Regardless of UK arrangements to speed the flow of goods through customs, the EU have every intention of introducing full border checks from the 1st of January 2021 which will impact exports and make it imperative that the customs paperwork is in order.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator, told a House of Lords Committee that Brussels will not agree to any delay despite the UK pledging not to introduce full border checks on EU goods until July 2021.

With just six months to go, the pressures will now ramp up on UK-based and EU e-retailers to ensure they have the right systems in place to combat the potential fallout from the UK transition deal coming to an end. Here at Tamebay we would strongly advise retailers, who have arrangements such as Amazon FBA, to ensure they have ample stock in EU warehouses before the 1st of January deadline as a precaution to keep sales flowing. Replenishing stock after the end of 2020 could leave you selling out until your next shipments clear customs border checks.

One of the biggest requirements will be to ensure that goods being sent into the EU and to the UK have the right data sets including accurate HS6 codes and product descriptions. Without them, the fear is that importing ports will not have the capacity to process information with the likelihood of lengthy delays in goods clearing customs.

Ecommerce brands also face greater scrutiny to ensure that goods are not being sent to denied parties – individuals or organisations on banned lists – or shipping goods that are prohibited or restricted in certain countries.

E-retailers will also need to ensure they have the best possible landed cost engine to ensure they are providing their customers with the right duty and tax calculations.

A growing number of leading ecommerce brands are providing their customers with a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) service, in which they take responsibility for paying duties and taxes that are due, increasing cost transparency and customer satisfaction.

“Brexit is just one major part of a changing geopolitical landscape that is requiring anyone involved in cross-border ecommerce to provide accurate data and become more compliant.
Other factors include the US-China trade war, changes in VAT regulations and advanced electronic data capture.
It is creating cross-border trade uncertainty and complexity, after decades of perceived stability resulting in far-reaching changes to the legislative and regulatory environment and the associated compliant shipping procedures.
Compliance is never optional. It is like a tax; any brand wanting to compete in the fast-paced world of ecommerce is required to fulfil their obligations and demonstrate they are equipped to operate in accordance with the law and the regulations.”

– Martyn Noble, CEO, Hurricane Commerce

2 Responses

  1. The EU are rightly bringing in checks, whereas the Oaf (aka Boris) in the UK has said he will relax checks on lorries from the EU to ensure goods arrive speedily in to the UK to prevent shortages on the shop shelves. So he is hardly exuding confidence in his main policy of Brexit. But also by allowing goods to speed in with little or no checks, he does not have to put the infrastructure in place to check the lorries, something he has done nothing about due to the fact he is an incompetent oaf. He would rather buy everyone a burger on the taxpayer in August! And good news for any illegal migrants, just wait till January and you can travel in virtually any curtain-sider wagon and be in the UK in a few hours, unbothered by checks, so you will get a good night’s sleep before vanishing into the countryside.


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