Brexit border bother? Spring has your back

Brexit is now history

After years of preparation and negotiation, Brexit is now history.

Yet even though a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and the European Union took effect several weeks ago, you can be sure that Spring remains focused on helping cross-border shippers deal with the changes which have taken place and those which are still to happen.

Some carriers have, of course, already reported difficulties in dealing with the new arrangements and moving goods both into and out of the UK and EU territories.

However, Spring's comprehensive preparations and our unique role as a broker mean that we're more than capable of helping overcome whatever challenges exist, providing both a variety of postal and commercial solutions for deliveries and returns as well as clear, expert advice.

Detail and data

Whilst the Free Trade Agreement saw no new and complex system of tariffs between competing economic blocs, it did signal a number of changes in the shipping process which are critical in ensuring swift delivery - and avoiding delay and possible expense.

Those changes don't just have consequences for e-commerce businesses in Europe but those sending items to Europe.

Regardless of whether items are sent by post or an express courier service, shippers need to supply more and clearer information about themselves and the items which are being dispatched, including their value. The better the quality of the data supplied, the less chance there is of experiencing a problem.

Particular importance is now placed on the designated origin of goods.

If firms can show customs authorities that they were entirely made in or had most of the work contributing to their cost carried out in the UK or EU, then products will be deemed to have preferential origin.

Shippers who can't do so might see their products regarded as being of general origin, something which may result in duties being applied by customs authorities in the country to which they are being delivered.

Demonstrating origin can be easily done using the HS Code along with a certificate or declaration of origin but it's essential that companies keep all supporting documentation for up to four years because proof may not be requested immediately.

Post to post

Spring is wholly-owned by one of the largest post and parcel operators, Post NL, and therefore, able to provide customers with access to what is still, for many individuals, the world's preferred last mile delivery network.

The postal system is long-established, tried and trusted.

Despite issues in some parts of the delivery infrastructure in the weeks since the new post-Brexit rules came into force, postal deliveries have continued without a hitch, underlining their success in supporting e-commerce brands, big and small.

It's also worth recognising that hold-ups which have occurred are not common to all commercial carriers. The flow of goods from the EU to the UK, for example, has progressed smoothly.

Our flexibility in being able to offer a range of services has meant customers receiving exactly the same quality of service for which Spring is renowned.

More changes in Midsummer

The first three weeks of the New Year have already presented cross-border shippers with more change than in many years.

Even so, there will be still more changes in July - notably, revisions to how deliveries from the UK to customers in the EU are taxed.

A VAT exemption for goods worth less than €22 (£15) known as the Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) will be scrapped.

Just as with items sent from all other non-EU countries, goods will instead be subject to VAT from the first penny of their value.

However, the EU has established the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) to make it easier for non-EU retailers to manage the tax involved in shipping to European customers.

Once e-commerce firms register, Import VAT becomes payable at the rate charged in consumers' home countries and can be paid on a quarterly basis rather than a single, annual return.

Get in touch

Our many hundreds of clients know that they can rely on the expertise of Spring's local sales teams in many countries throughout Europe and across the world.

We can help ensure that your business stays on top of the changes already made and be ready to face those which take effect later in 2021.

It doesn't matter wherever you are. If you have need guidance on any of the changes resulting from Brexit, we can assist.

After all, we are Spring. We listen, we inspire and we deliver.