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Brexit News - October 2020 update

Published date: 06/10/2020 11:00

October 2020 

Following Westcoast’s most recent Brexit meeting, we are delighted to submit an update to our customers and suppliers regarding Westcoast’s own plans for Brexit. Our preparations are based on the assumption that there will be no European Free Trade Agreement in place by 1 January 2021.  

 

Potential Delays 

Whilst it is widely recognised that there will be delays at Channel ports and those heading to Ireland, Westcoast is working with our major vendors to mitigate such delays creating new routes of delivery. Whilst this will only be partially successful, together with Westcoast’s increased warehouse capacity and planning with each supplier – we trust that we can avoid any material delays. Consultation with customers have shown them to be more sanguine about these hold-ups which are unlikely to affect the normal flow of business materially. 

Customers with orders due around 31 December should engage with your Westcoast account manager asap to ensure these can be managed and prioritised to ensure they delivered prior to cut-off. 

 

Tariffs 

Our vendors are improving their ability to provide accurate codes and countries of origin. 99% of Westcoast products now have commodity codes stored in our product database (or the UNSPC code which is a close approximation) and have been looked up on both the UK General Tariff and the EU Common External Tariff with almost all currently displaying no tariff. Some 3D printing products are affected. 

These tariffs could change in the months ahead, and we will keep customers informed of any tariff introductions as soon as we can. Any tariffs incurred will be recharged to the customer. 

 

Warehousing 

Westcoast has progressed its discussions and application to have a bonded warehouse within the Andover facility. These preparations are continuing and our systems are being updated. This will allow goods to remain in Europe with the confines of our UK facilities and effectively be imported into the UK at point of order by UK customers whilst allowing European customers/orders to be transacted speedily. 

 

Ireland 

Most Irish orders are fulfilled from the inventory held in the UK. Goods in stock in the UK, ordered by 4pm (cut-off) will usually ship the same day and be delivered with 24 hours to our Irish customer/end user. We are working with our freight forwarders – Primeline - to keep this route effective post Brexit. 

It will mean some changes as Westcoast Ireland will now be the importer of record for such goods into the EU (from the UK) saving administration costs and paperwork. As such customers will be invoiced by Westcoast Ireland and charged VAT on each delivery. We are currently reviewing the possibility of a bonded Warehouse (see earlier) for goods to travel from Europe into the UK and out to Ireland as freely as possible. Customers wishing to continue to treat their orders as an export from the UK can engage with your Westcoast Ireland account manager to discuss your options and the different costs involved.

Finally, we are looking at increasing the use of Westcoast Ireland’s own distribution agreements to purchase goods direct from our main vendors and then store in Westcoast’s Ireland’s Tallaght warehouse. This may help with large projects, run-rate skus and CTO/bespoke product orders. 

 

Northern Ireland

This will be a special case with regulations being developed at present. We will be consolidating all customers into a focused team to ensure customers are serviced effectively. Further information will be issued in future editions.

 

International Shipping 

Westcoast are already experts in shipping to the EU – Ireland or Mainland Europe – and are working with a number of freight forwarders to provide services for all UK customers concerned about shipping internationally. Paperwork, tariffs, VAT deferment, regulations can all be handled by Westcoast’s outstanding team. The EU will be implementing full border formalities on 1 Jan 2021(the UK are phasing them in over 6 months) which means that customers need to be ready. 

We will be announcing our standard processes shortly allowing any customer to engage our skills and services. However, if you want a more strategic conversation on how Westcoast can handle all such shipments on your behalf, engage with your account manager and our team will be in touch 

 

Other Changes 

There are a number of other changes – eg the new UKCA safety mark replacing the EU’s CE mark or the recognition of professional qualifications and intellectual property. These internal Westcoast Group matters are being assessed and customers are advised to examine any areas that may be affected. 

Two good external sources of information providing a checklist of areas to examine are: 

The British Chambers of Commerce: https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/media/get/Business Brexit Checklist.pdf 

EY – 100 Days To Go Readiness Guide: https://www.ey.com/en_uk/ey-brexit/brexit-readiness-guide-for-business-with-100-days-to-go

 

Any questions or feedback are welcome by e-mailing: brexit@westcoast.co.uk

 

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