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Brexit Club at the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Brexit Club at the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Brexit Club at the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

By David Hooper, Jan 31, 2019, Category: Events

On the 23rd January I attended the Chamber Brexit meeting, which was chaired by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber and included businesses and representative of various bodies from around the region. The Group had met before the first occasion was in January 2017. The purpose of the meeting was so that businesses can provide feedback via the Chamber to Government on the issues that are affecting them and the type of support they may require post Brexit. There was also a presentation by Coventry City Council who had conducted some research on the impact of Brexit thus far.

On the positive side those who attended the meeting reported that so far business was still good including businesses in the manufacturing sector. Investment was continuing and businesses were carrying on as normal. However, there was also a lot of frustration mainly aimed at Government and politicians especially as we are now only weeks away from the 29th March and businesses are in the dark as to how they should prepare for Brexit. 

The media also attended the event and I gave a brief interview to BBC Midlands today and Touch FM on the issues affecting the industry from both the freight side based on our experiences at Independent Freight through to the work I am doing with businesses through Hooper and Co around customs compliance which now includes helping businesses start to look at the potential impact of Brexit.

The main frustration for business is that they want to know whether there will be a transitional period and they want to know what the final deal will look like. If we do exit the EU on the 29th March without a ‘deal’ then this could have serious repercussions for a lot of companies especially for those who have never exported or imported further than the EU regardless of whether they support Brexit or not. There are thousands of businesses which fall into this category.

There is also lots of confusion around the various types of deals that could be agreed with the EU, from a Free Trade Agreement similar to the one the EU has recently agreed with Canada and Japan to joining EFTA sometimes confusingly referred to as a Norway model. Some of these deals would still require new processes and systems and could cause supply chain issues for a lot of companies including understanding the regulations around rules of origin. For all ‘deals’ there will probably need to be additional paperwork and customs declarations. Some detail on the treatment of import VAT has been provided by Government but even with this there is no specific information just a lot of assumptions as to how it might work.

My advice to those businesses that attended this event and to businesses in general is if you currently import and export to Non EU countries then they should review their exiting customs procedures and policies and review their supply chains and talk to their customers and suppliers. This is good practice regardless of Brexit. For those not currently involved in supply chains outside the EU, they should look at what procedures they may need to implement, there are a number of steps they can take including understanding the Tariff code for their product, ensuring they know the origin of that product if they do not manufacture themselves, checking the amount of duty their customers will pay on the product if they exported to the EU and speaking to their customer regarding future processes and Incoterms. A similar process can be done for imports from the EU.

For more information about my experience discussing BREXIT email me at David@independent-freight.com

Imports and Exports After Brexit: What is UK’s Trade Strategy?

Imports and Exports After Brexit: What is UK’s Trade Strategy?

Imports and Exports After Brexit: What is UK’s Trade Strategy?

By Jenny Hooper, Jan 30, 2019, Category: General News

Here is the deal: over half of the UK’s imports come from the other 27 nations in the EU, whereas almost half of the UK’s exports go to the EU. Predictably, by the end of 2020 when Brexit finally takes effect, this will all be up for an unpleasant renegotiation.

Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have long since warned that they expect trade to be reduced when Brexit finally pushes through. This prospect was supported by the most obvious and immediate effect of the referendum result, which was the lowered value of the pound. It’s worth noting that a currency’s value can be an immense reflection of the general consensus on its economic future, thus, experts believe that Brexit means a slowing economy. Simply put, those businesses that depend on imported goods and raw materials from outside the UK face an increase in the cost of doing business.

The customs union

Britain is also a part of the customs union, which means that it enjoys the advantages of trade liberalisation or the easy transit of goods across national borders. The thing is, UK’s separation to the customs union may also be another outcome once Brexit takes hold. This would result in the UK losing the benefits of free trade and suffering a much harder process for goods to travel.

Especially for SMEs with complex supply chains, trading will likely involve a great deal more paperwork, making it almost impossible to do business.

UK’s Trade Strategy

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) continues to encourage its members to be ‘more proactive’. Additionally, it is advised that as a general approach to trade, retaining the current trade engagements could serve as a useful principle after Brexit for the UK. This means that since all of the UK’s trade agreements are via the EU, maintaining all of its current FTAs would mean that there would be no change in this respect as all existing trade arrangements would remain in place.

While this strategy is unlikely to be that easy to achieve, there is the possibility that some of the other nations could find it easier to do a trade deal with the UK since it does not represent 28 different national interests.

Independent Freight Solutions Ltd is an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). We are part of an internationally recognised quality mark that indicates our control and procedures for both Customs and Security are secure, highly efficient, accurate and fully compliant. To know more about services, feel free to give us a call on +44(0)2476 343037 or email us at jenny@independent-freight.com.

UK and EU Trade: The Economic Impact of Brexit

UK and EU Trade: The Economic Impact of Brexit


By Jenny Hooper, Jan 21, 2019, Category: General News

After the Brexit referendum, a slew of negotiations being discussed today either produce uncertainty or assurance to millions of businesses in the UK. There are a lot of economic implications, especially for the industrial trade, that compel SMEs to conduct risk assessments to ensure that they’ll operate legal, highly efficient business procedures in a post-Brexit world.

Depending on the type of Brexit deal we get the UK could lose access to the Single Market and Customs Union. Having access to these ensures frictionless trade, in not just avoiding tariffs but the invisible barriers as well such as avoiding origin checks, customs declarations and additional paperwork. If the UK fails to agree any deal with the EU then it will resort to trading under WTO rules with EU members states in the same way it does with other Non EU countries.

Under these rules, businesses that import and export with EU member states may have to put in place similar procedures to those already in place for Non EU imports and exports. Your customers and suppliers in the EU will also need to implement similar procedures on all goods consigned from and to the UK.

This will obviously have a knock on affect with the freight and logistics industry, under a no deal Brexit it is anticipated that there will be an additional 200 million customs declarations. We had hoped that by this stage we would have a much better understanding of what type of deal we will get and what this would mean in terms process and procedures after the 29 March 2018.

We would like to reassure all our customers that Independent Freight is ready for the worse outcome of a no deal Brexit and will be ready to advice and guide all our customers through any processes whatever the outcome.

Independent Freight Solutions Ltd is an HMRC Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) in both Customs and Security offering different cost-effective logistics management solutions. Our internationally recognised quality mark indicates that our role in the International Supply Chain is secure and that our customs controls and procedures are highly efficient, accurate and fully compliant. Contact us today on +44(0)2476 343037 or email us at jenny@independent-freight.com for more information about our services.