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A Canada Style FTA post Brexit – what are the positive and negatives from this arrangement?

A Canada Style FTA post Brexit – what are the positive and negatives from this arrangement?

A Canada Style FTA post Brexit – what are the positive and negatives from this arrangement?

By David Hooper, August 08, 2019, Category: General News

In 2016 Boris Johnson, now the UK Prime Minister stated that:

  “I think we can strike a deal [with the EU] as the Canadians have done based on trade and getting rid of tariffs. It’s a very, very bright future I see.”

He was at the time referring to the fact that the UK could agree a deal with the EU based on the Free Trade Agreement the EU had agreed with the UK.

Some argue a deal like this could still be reached with the EU either before we leave on the 31st October or afterwards. However, even if a deal like this is agreed which most would agree is better than ‘No Deal’ this is still not the frictionless trade which many Politicians carelessly suggest.

The practicalities and complexities may actually be the same as no deal for other trying to prove that goods qualify under preferential rules of origin it could be even more bureaucratic.

POSITIVES:

Unlike ‘No Deal’ Tariffs would be eliminated on most products wholly produced or manufactured in the UK and EU – however, see rules of origin under negatives.

Public Procurement – businesses in the both UK and EU may still be able to bid for public contracts

NEGATIVES:

Businesses would need to do a Customs Declaration at import/ export – Incotmers would become even more important in understanding where risk and responsibility starts and finishes.

Businesses would need to meet complex rules of origin to ensure their goods 

Duty would still be payable on goods consigned from third countries imported into the UK or EU and then exported out to the UK and EU – due to the UK leaving the Customs Union. E.g. -A shipment is imported from China to the UK goods are repackaged and distributed to EU customers under this scenario duty would have to be paid twice once at import into the UK and again in the EU.

UK businesses will need to pay Import VAT albeit the Government originally stated under a ‘No Deal’ this could be deferred until the VAT return is made – however, for EU customers they may have to pay VAT before they can receive their goods. If they don’t have a deferment account this may lead to cash flow issues.

Any deal may only grant limited access to service contracts by no means comparable to access under the Single Market.

Therefore our advice all along is prepare for ‘No Deal’ now. Independent Freight Solutions Ltd is ready to support all of our valued existing and new customers in ensuring shipments will managed as smoothly as possible in the event of a ‘No Deal’ but preparing now is important to ensure you’re your business is ready. Independent Freight is a HMRC approved Authorised Economic Operator for AEO (C) Customs and (S) Security.  Out sister Company Hooper and Co can provide additional support by way of training/audits and consultancy on a whole range of international trade and customs related issues. If you would like to find out more about our Freight, Customs or Training Services – contact us

 

Reports of a Post Brexit Free Trade Agreement Between the UK and USA

Reports of a Post Brexit Free Trade Agreement Between the UK and USA

Reports of a Post Brexit Free Trade Agreement Between the UK and USA

By David Hooper, July 16, 2019, Category: General News

There has been a lot of talk in the media about a US / UK Free trade agreement post Brexit. Recent reports suggest that if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister this will be the first thing he will look to secure. However, how easy will this be? And how long will it take?  Some argue that the economic benefits to the UK will actually be quite small and be more beneficial to the US than the UK. It has also been commented that the US will also have the upper hand in that any agreement has to be in the interests of US firms or else what’s the point as there is no desperate requirement for the USA in the grand scheme of things. 

The Economist in 2018 also stated that one of the reasons for large scale investment by the US in the UK in the past was to access the EU Single Market a point made the US Chamber of Commerce. Therefore, in reality would the UK actually still be of interest to the USA?

What Progress has been made so far?

So what progress has there been so far behind the scenes, well the groundwork for a future deal began in 2017 with the establishment of US/UK Trade and Investment Working Group. In November 2018 President Trump notified congress that once the UK leaves the EU he intended to negotiate a trade agreement with the UK. 

The US then set out its specific negotiating objectives in Feb 2019. These objectives looked at addressing tariffs with non tariffs. For some UK companies opening up the US market could be very beneficial especially if trade tariffs were reduced to zero and other barriers to entry are lowered, however, the same applies the other way, whereby US firms unable to target the UK due to existing EU/UK tariffs and non tariff barriers could start importing into the UK. 

Concerns from the UK side

Some of the concerns raised in the UK concern the fact that the UK would need to relax certain rules around food hygiene as well as healthcare contracts. Although US firms already compete to deliver NHS contracts which go out for tender the issue is that the US uses different mechanisms for pricing medicines. There is currently a huge gap between what the NHS can afford, and the price certain US firms demand. This may be an area that President Trump will want to address before any deal is signed. Something that could impact on healthcare in the long term in the UK, The US may also demand that tariffs are scrapped on all US cars.  

It should also be noted that Mr Trump may not actually be President after 2020 and that the World may have changed again – therefore any chance of a quick deal being agreed and in place with the USA may take years to complete in reality, if at all!

For more information on the benefits and issues of exporting and importing using free trade agreements including:

  • how and when to use them 
  • paperwork for shipping and 
  • the evidence needed to support them 
  • Implication now under EU rules and in the future post Brexit

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more.

Half Day Workshops Available

In the near future Independent Freights sister Company, Hooper and Co will be running a series of half day practical workshops on Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s). If you are interested or have employees who you may like to send, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Why you should hire a customs broker before Brexit

Why you should hire a customs broker before Brexit

Why you should hire a customs broker before Brexit

By Jenny Hooper, July 16, 2019, Category: General News

Once the United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union, we will no longer be a part of the EU Customs Area. This has many implications, largely that the UK will have to write its own customs legislation, and trade with members of the EU will change significantly. Namely, freight shipping between the UK and the EU will become subject to customs formalities and procedures. Listed below are some of the biggest changes businesses will be subject to when importing and exporting goods after Brexit.

Licenses and declarations

• Any import and export licenses issued in the UK will no longer be valid in the EU.

• All movement of goods to the UK from the EU will require an export declaration.

• Excise goods, such as alcohol and tobacco, may require an electronic administrative document (eAD)

New charges

• Customs duties will apply to goods moving between the UK and the EU.

• VAT will be charged by member states when importing goods from the UK.

• Payment of VAT and cross-border VAT returns will be governed by new rules.

How can a freight forwarder that offer customs brokerage help?

Hiring a Freight Forwarder who can act as a customs broker will reduce stress during the post-Brexit changeover. A freight forwarder or custom broker’s job is to provide assistance and support in the area of specialist laws and regulations surrounding the import and export of goods. They prepare the customs documentation and liaise with airlines, shipping lines , cargo handlers and other carriers of freight.  They can be given power of attorney to sign legal documents, and handle any duties and taxes payable by their client. By hiring a freight forwarder who can offer the services of a customs broker, you won’t have to take as much time away from other aspects of your business, as you will be confident that you already have someone focusing on the legal side of your imports, exports, charges, and goods storage.

10 things you need to know about the customs clearance process

10 things you need to know about the customs clearance process

10 things you need to know about the customs clearance process

By Jenny Hooper, June 28, 2019, Category: General News

Customs can be a confusing process for those who have never shipped goods before. If you’re looking to send goods overseas or you’re importing goods into the UK, here are 10 things you need to know:

1. Customs clearance is complex

The customs clearance process involves more than simply passing goods across borders – the preparation and submission of documentation is required to facilitate exports and imports.

2. There’s a lot of documentation to consider

Common export and import documentation includes a Certificate of Origin, a sales invoice, a packing list, a shipping bill, insurance, an Airway Bill, a Bill of Lading and much more.

3. Your cargo will go through customs in every country around the world

Every country has its own customs clearance process, and the rules, laws and regulations will vary. Therefore, you will need to do your research before shipping your goods.

4. Customs will request payment of taxes and duties

If these haven’t been paid when the shipment arrives, customs will forward the package to an independent customs broker. This can get very expensive, so pay all charges before sending your shipment.

5. The time it takes varies from shipment to shipment

There’s no set time limit – the process is very much dependent on what goods are entering the country.

6. Customs charges in the UK are calculated using three variables

These are UK Duty, UK VAT and any additional costs like testing, storage and x-rays.

7. All goods are subject to Trading Standards

There are certain items that will attract more attention than others, such as lithium batteries, toys and electronics.

8. Certain items will need an import licence

Items which require a licence are often dangerous or require heavier regulation. Examples include drugs, fur, livestock and nuclear materials.

9. Properly loaded shipping containers can ease the process

Improper loading can lead to extensive searches of shipments, which can result in delays and more expenses.

10. It’s best left to a freight forwarding company

If the wrong person handles your customs brokerage, you could face a number of issues. A freight forwarder will be able to manage all your clearance requirements, including any documentation.

To find out more about Independent Freight’s air cargo and sea freight options, get in touch with a member of our team today.

Improved Routes to China for UK!

Improved Routes to China for UK!

How Heathrow are spearheading the development of the routes to China for the UK

By Jenny Hooper, June 13, 2019, Category: General News

Great news for customers who are regular exports to China or looking to export to China in the future!

Heathrow will now offer a new service to Chengdu the 12th Chinese route on the airports network. By identifying efficiencies and gaps in schedules, Heathrow has been able to accommodate new routes to China.

Expansion of Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport and biggest port by value, will allow Britain the opportunity to build and maintain the vitally important trade connections to China the country needs, especially with a future outside the EU.

Research carried out by the CEBR has showed that there has been a remarkable rise in the value of Chinese exports via Heathrow and China is now the third most valuable export destination from the Airport.

Air China will use an A330-200 aircraft which can facilitate 3744 tonnes of cargo between China and the UK. Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker commented on the historic expansion: “Each plane flown from Heathrow to China not only carries passengers, but also the best of UK fashion, art and industry exports in its bellyhold. As we plan for a future outside of the EU, growing connections from Heathrow, the UK’s biggest port by value, to cities like Chengdu, is essential to keep our country an outward-looking trading nation.” (Source: TravelPRnews, 2019)

If you are interested in finding out more about this service which can be booked via our Team or any other Chinese destination then please do not hesitate to contact us at +44(0)2476 343037. We also offer import services from most major Chinese Airport back to the UK

Shipments that are appropriate for road freight

Shipments that are appropriate for road freight

Shipments that are appropriate for road freight

By Jenny Hooper, May 27, 2019, Category: General News

Are you looking to transport goods around the UK and Europe? If so, road freight might be the best option for you. With a number of solutions available, including pallet and out-of-gauge equipment, read on to find out the most appropriate shipments for road freight.

Groupage

This type of shipping involves grouping your goods together with other similar items that are travelling to the same place. Often the cheapest and most efficient way to transport goods in the UK, it’s also known as consolidation of freight. If you can’t make up a full container, you simply need to ask your freight forwarding company to send your shipment via groupage shipping.

Full load road freight

Essentially the opposite of groupage, full load road freight is a type of shipping that sees a truck carry just one dedicated container. If you have a shipment that is large enough to fill a single container, this option is usually cheaper. With full loads, you will also find you aren’t as restricted when it comes to the size and weight of the shipment.

Dedicated

The best option for time restricted transport and valuable shipments, dedicated road freight ensures the same driver and truck is used throughout, making the whole process more secure. The driver is also reachable during the journey. Although similar to full load road freight, the main difference is that full load allows for different trucks and drivers to handle sections of the delivery.

Contact Independent Freight today to learn more about their road freight solutions. As well as road freight, we offer sea freight and air freight services to destinations around the world.