What does Brexit mean to us?
As a business, what ever happens with the UK’s Brexit from the EU, there will be consequences that we will have to deal with and can’t ignore. The hardest bit is planning for the unknown but that is what we are being asked to do.
We have been sent an email by HMRC that started ‘The UK will be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019.’ This email went on to outline what we, as a business that imports from the EU, will need to do after March 29th to continue importing. The good news is that the process, as explained, seems quite straight forward and inline with what we had already anticipated.
With continued reassurances from HMRC that there will NOT be routine checks of goods entering via ferries and Eurostar it would seem, on the face of it, that after the 29th March we should be able to continue bringing fresh produce in from Europe without significant disruption.
It is obviously not quite as simple as that however. There is an increased requirement for paperwork to travel with the goods and the need to inform HMRC in advance of what is coming into the country. Once the goods have been delivered to their UK destination then the importer also has to let HMRC know this is has happened and then of course pay the WTO import tariffs. These on the face of it, look to be in the range of 5 – 10% for fresh produce however it would seem that this is still to be decided.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
So simple answer to that is everything we can. We are confident that we will have everything in place here to meet all that will be required of us by HMRC so that we can continue importing organic fruit and vegetables into the UK. We are working very closely with all our suppliers in mainland Europe and more importantly the transport companies that deliver our goods, to make sure all systems and paper work are in place before the 29th March.
WHAT MORE CAN WE DO?
At this stage not much more. Unfortunately dealing in fresh produce stock piling is not an option so all we can do is keep an eye on developments as they happen. Even as we write this meetings are taking place that could change what happens on the 29th March, so we will continue to watch for further developments and adapt our plans accordingly.
I think the one thing we can be sure of is that come March 30th we will have lorries on the road, full of fresh organic produce and be delivering to all our customers as normal.
If you have any questions or concerns as to how this may affect your particular business or feel we have possible missed something then please do not hesitate in contacting us.