Brexit in many ways feels like it happened a long time ago, but the impacts are still being felt and post Brexit selling to Europe isn’t anywhere near as easy as it once was.
Post Brexit selling on Amazon Germany down 70%
A major challenge for Amazon sellers is that Amazon FBA in the UK is no longer part of Amazon FBA in Europe, this means stock in the UK won’t be sold into the EU and stock in the EU won’t be sold into the UK and Amazon won’t move your stock across the English Channel for you.
UK Online Stores, who track sellers on Amazon & eBay European marketplaces, reports that almost 70% of UK sellers on Amazon Germany have now stopped selling.
“Back in November 2019 over 9,500 sellers from the UK had made at least one sale on Amazon.de. Nearly 50% of these sellers had made over 500 sales. However, by May 2021, 6589 sellers had not made a sale in the previous 3 months. That’s nearly 70% of sellers that have stopped listing products and making sales on Amazon Germany.”
– UK Online Stores
French marketplace VAT SNAFU
As well as the logistical challenges of post Brexit selling to Europe, there are also regulatory challenges and one seller has told us of a massive VAT bill they’ve incurred due to the vagaries of trading with the EU. Since July they were shipping with a major UK carrier, but had consistent issues shipping to France with customers being charged VAT by the carrier on top of the VAT they paid through IOSS collected by the marketplaces (such as Amazon and eBay).
The carrier suggested that they send parcels DDP (Taxes Paid) as they were aware of the issue and implied that they could credit them back once resolved. Now, 3-4 months down the line, the carrier is finally saying that French Customs rules mean they don’t acknowledge IOSS on an “Unpublished list of Commodity Codes”. This has left the seller liable thousands of pounds of VAT collected by the carrier as well as the VAT already paid through IOSS by eBay and Amazon.
Post pandemic Post Brexit selling to Europe
Many businesses have seen unprecedented levels of domestic online sales during the course of the pandemic, but as the pandemic pressures start to ease picking up regular selling will become more important for future growth once again. If you used to sell to Europe and now don’t, whether through the likes of passive Amazon FBA selling or by directly shipping to the EU, how are you meeting these challenges. Do you still sell to the EU at the same levels as before Brexit or have you virtually ceased trading with the continent?