Brexit’s impact on Genuine Solutions
As I am writing this article on 17th October 2019, we are exactly two weeks away from the next deadline for the UK to leave the EU – 31st October. Having watched this process develop over the last three years, it would be extremely foolish to make any predictions about what the next week will have in store for the Brexit process, but it is worth outlining some of the consequences of leaving the European Union and the effect on our business.
What will a no-deal Brexit mean?
With no certainty that a deal will be reached, a no-deal Brexit is still a possibility. If this were to happen on 31st October (or at some later date) the most likely outcome would be:
- All rights and reciprocal arrangements with the EU end
- The UK would be treated the same as countries that lack any free trade agreements for tax, customs and the movement of goods and people within the EU
- There will be no transition period in this case and significant changes for businesses will be required immediately as of 1 November 2019 (or any later date of a no-deal Brexit)
What will be impacted?
Almost every aspect of day-to-day business has the potential to be impacted in the event of a no-deal Brexit, including:
- Import and export of goods and services to and from EU countries, including VAT payments and (potentially) custom and excise duties
- Employment of EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU
- Transport and logistics, including fulfilment
- Product safety and eco-compliance, including packaging and labelling that references EU licensing
- Copyright, trademarks and patents
- Environmental industrial standards, including emissions
- Transfer of personal data between the EU and UK
- Mutual recognition of qualifications and relevant licences (including audit, banking and insurance licences)
Little wonder then that there have been concerns over how businesses will cope with the end of an entire regulatory environment overnight, particularly one that has been built over half a century.
What does this mean for Genuine Solutions and our customers?
The biggest impact for us and our customers is around the movement of goods into and out of the European Union, particularly around tariffs, duties, declarations and documentary conformity. This could impact delivery times and product compliance.
As a company with a track record in import and export, we have already taken several steps to deal with changes in the movement of goods in a post-Brexit world.
- We already have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number). This a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which undertake the import or export of goods into or out of the EU
- We have a deferment account: when goods are imported, they can be subject to import sales tax and customs duties. These duties must be paid in full to the customs authorities at the time of import. Having a deferment account helps ensure shipments are cleared quickly
- Reliable freight forwarders: we use freight forwarders to act as a transportation service between us and transportation services. This ensures that goods are delivered effectively, and we have full transparency over when goods will arrive
- Registration for transitional simplified procedures: we are fully registered for this scheme that will make it easier to import goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
When events are out of our control, all we can do is be as prepared as possible. It has been obvious for some time that events around Brexit had the potential to impact our business, so we have taken a proactive approach. We believe that we have done everything we can to mitigate risk from a no-deal Brexit. We are ready to continue to deliver outstanding levels of service to our customers across the group no matter the circumstances. Whatever the next two weeks and beyond brings, we will be ready to deliver.
More information on Brexit and its implications for business can be found here.
Written by Helen Rieupeyroux, Head of Finance, Genuine Solutions Group.