During the course of this year, e-commerce firms sending goods between European Union and the United Kingdom must come to terms with a number of major changes relating to the shipping costs involved.
One of the most significant relates to whether and how tariffs need to be applied.
Following the completion of Brexit, businesses can actually avoid having to pay duties on items sent to the UK or EU if the production or composition of the products which they are selling meet certain rules.
The Rules of Origin
Customs duties are now applicable where products worth more than €150/£135 are being shipped.
However, the trade agreement struck between the UK and EU means that a new, preferential rate of duty came into effect on the first of January.
Under these rules, items are rated at zero per cent for duty purposes if retailers can prove that they should be entitled to what's known as preferential origin.
That doesn't simply refer to where goods are bought or shipped from but their economic nationality.
Preferential origin indicates that a product has either been entirely ("wholly obtained") or largely ("sufficiently worked or processed") made in either the EU or the UK.
Shippers who are unable to demonstrate preferential origin, risk seeing their goods instead being classed as having general origin - something which may result in duties being applied by customs authorities in the country to which they are being delivered.
Evidence of origin needs to be obtained and kept for at least 4 years for every item which is shipped. Local customs may request this document.
The Spring solution
If you want to continue selling to customers in the UK or EU without interruption or unexpected tariffs, you will need to make sure that your online checkout is ready for the changes. Spring has taken the strain out of the process by creating a Landed Cost Calculator.
It will help you work out import VAT - and, if applicable, import duties - liable in the country to which you're shipping. Our Landed Cost Calculator is supported by a database of global tax rates, so can assist wherever around the world you're sending goods.
As part of one of the world's biggest post and parcel operators, Spring is helping many hundreds of retailers across Europe.
Our local sales teams in many countries throughout Europe can make sure that you adapt and grow.
So, why not get in touch?
After all, we are Spring. We listen, we inspire and we deliver.