Brexit – have you thought about your supply chain?

Cast your minds back to January, before Covid-19 when life was carefree, and our summer holiday plans were still intact. Newspaper headlines focussed on the imminent departure of the UK from the EU.

Given what’s happened since then, it’s easy to forget that the UK formally left the EU on 31st January 2020. In doing so, it left the European Single Market and the four freedoms that come with it – movement of goods, capital, services and labour.

Nothing has really changed since then. UK businesses are still moving goods to or from the EU thanks to the transition period – the 11-month period where everything remains the same, providing time for the UK and EU to negotiate a trade deal in whichever form that will be.

However, as it currently stands, the transition period will end at midnight on 31st December 2020, at which point the UK is likely to revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules for movement of goods. Have you taken time to consider what this means for your business and its supply chain? There is a risk of delays, additional costs, and in extreme cases, breaking the law, if you don’t do it correctly.

Some questions to be asking yourself include:

  1. Do you have a plan in place to import and/or export goods to Europe?
  2. Do you have an import or export broker in place, and have you discussed additional costs?
  3. Do you know what commodity codes you will use?
  4. Have you considered how you will value goods for import/export purposes?
  5. Have you considered rules of origin?
  6. Will any of your goods require an export licence?
  7. Have you considered temporary movements (e.g. items for repair or display) and do you have a plan to manage this?

If you are unable to answer any of these questions and feel that you could benefit from our help, please feel free to get in touch to discuss how we can assist.