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Brexit has been completed, and there are still a few bumps in the road. For example, the workload is increasing and the flow of goods will be monitored more closely once the six month phase 1 period has ended. On the other hand, IT adjustments are necessary and new documentation requirements have to be fulfilled.
Following is a short statement from our branch manager Richard Arnold in London about the current situation.
Even four weeks after the new Brexit rules came into force, there is still uncertainty among logistics companies and their customers about their implementation. Richard Arnold, the country manager responsible for the UK and branch manager of the German sea and air freight forwarder Quick Cargo Service, says: "many companies are still unaware of their responsibilities to comply with the new rules." According to Arnold, British companies are mainly concerned with basic legal and bureaucratic questions after the end of the common internal market: "How do British and EU companies invoice each other? What should the general terms and conditions of their contracts with suppliers look like? How exactly does customs clearance take place, and who pays the VAT?" Many companies were not aware that if their goods transit to their EU customer via France than a T1 document will be needed and there are limited transport companies that hold a transit guarantee.
Equally unclear, he said, is the question of how e-commerce should be treated. Brexit is killing e-commerce sales for those who were not prepared. "There is a lack of clarity as to whether the seller or the customer should be held responsible for paying customs duties and VAT." According to Arnold, the majority of UK-based businesses believe the uncertainties will ease over time. "It's a bit like after a divorce. The court has decided who can see the children and when, and it takes the parents a while to get used to the new arrangements."
According to Arnold, logisticians currently have to act as consultants to their customers much more than in the past. "Truck transport will be most affected by Brexit," says Arnold; sea freight will hardly be affected by the new rules. Air freight transport will also be affected by Brexit to a certain extent," says Arnold.
However, the new situation also offers service providers new opportunities to offer new services, says Arnold. "When things suddenly become more complicated and bureaucratic, companies need more help. Therefore, logistics providers with the greatest knowledge have the best chances of being able to offer customers new solutions