Manufacturers stockpiling in anticipation of no deal Brexit
Reports of significant delays at principal UK and European ports and concerns surrounding post-Brexit border checks have resulted in manufacturing businesses piling stock to arrive before the 31 December 2020. Goods are being ordered in increasing numbers from the EU to sit in UK warehouses.
However, manufacturers should note that goods stock-piled now will need to comply with future EU standards if forming part of products to be sold back into the EU. This will require further approval and costs as UK and European regulatory standards are likely to diverge.
Import and export declarations are likely to be required and questions remain whether to engage a customs agent or broker or directly acquire the software to enable a business to make those submissions themselves. The challenges in the second route will be securing suitable training and experience as there are just too few people that are able to fully interpret the regulations and legislation.
Manufacturers will also face challenges in finding customs agents and brokers. In Dover Kent, our largest ferry port, there are simply not enough agents to meet demand – a picture mirrored across the UK where in addition to there being few agents, there is the added burden in the EU that new agents require a license to trade a similar compliance measure not required in the UK.
Manufacturers are also urged not to overlook the additional insurance issues that will need to be considered for post-Brexit trade with the EU and speak to their insurer or broker as soon as they possibly can.
And finally, check whether you obtained your EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification). This number is required for all cross-border customs matters and will improve efficiency for operators and customs alike thereby reducing delays.
If you are a manufacturer or business looking for advice or guidance on this topic, please contact me here.
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