Right now, this is a topic that everyone wants to know about but no one knows where to look. Brexit has been underway for so long with so many differentiations, it seems we’re all feeling a bit edgy about what to do and where to seek information.
There is no official guidance as yet from those ‘at the top’. It seems the government are working on the larger export and trade associations and will, in time, provide clearer guidelines for the micro business community (we hope!).
We recently consulted a lawyer, who’s stance is that it might be easier to turn off the option of EU shipping right now, and not shipping outside of the UK until it is all resolved. However, many small businesses are carrying on as normal until they are given further information.
Business owners wanting to ship to the EU are being asked to fill in a few more customs forms than previously, that are slightly more complicated than before, and must pay an increased shipping cost. This may change in the coming months, but until we hear any more news on this, this is all we can share.
“When sending goods abroad, customers will need to complete and attach a customs declaration (CN22 or CN23), available from the Post Office® or Royal Mail’s Click & Drop. This does not apply to customers sending items from Northern Ireland to the EU. Letters, postcards and documents are usually exempt.
The recipient may then have to pay customs or VAT charges and a handling fee in the receiving country before they can claim the parcel. These charges will depend on the country they are sending to, the value of the item and whether it is a gift or commercial goods.”
~ Royal Mail / Brexit
We are still unsure whether the purchaser will be charged further import tax once they receive their products. There is talk of prepayment of VAT, but again it is unclear whether this applies to small or micro businesses, or whether they will be exempt if they are either a sole trader / small limited company, have a turnover under a certain threshold or similar.
Brexit could impact your business, especially if you sell or ship goods to the EU, or source any of your products or materials from the EU. We will amend this article if and when we are provided with further updates.