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Transport and logistics sector expects chaos after Brexit

Bob van der Steen

What are the consequences for your business if customs after the Brexit don't need two, but four minutes to let a truck pass from or to the United Kingdom? The transport and logistics sector as well as the customs authorities expect huge traffic jams on both sides of the Channel Tunnel or the North Sea.

Impact Brexit on Dutch business community

The Netherlands play an important role in trade with the United Kingdom. Not only as an exporter of its own products such as flowers, dairy products and fruit, but also as an importer for its own market and as a transit port of goods to and from the United Kingdom. The impact that the Brexit will have on the Dutch business community is therefore wide. The transport and logistics sector will mainly suffer from increased administrative burden and cost-increasing delays and obstacles, because the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union (EU).

What does Brexit mean for your company?

Research shows that many companies in both the United Kingdom and the EU are barely preparing themselves. Often because 'one does not know which way it goes'. We advise the companies for whom the trade with the United Kingdom is of importance to at least identify what Brexit means for the company.

Some matters that may affect your company:

  • Do you trade goods with the United Kingdom? Then you will have to deal with import or export customs formalities, whatever the outcome of the negotiations will be.
  • Do you have the information that is needed to make good import or export declarations?
  • What is the origin of the goods? The origin is different from the place they come from.
  • Are there any import or export restrictions for the specific goods?
  • Under which delivery conditions are you doing business now? Does the Brexit give reason to change this?
  • Should you consider having a distribution centre in the United Kingdom or in the EU, and if so where?
  • You're about to extend the rent of your current distribution facilities. Is that not too big or too small in the future?
  • Does the Brexit affect your financing at the bank?

What to do as a company in the transport and logistics sector?

Transport and logistics companies can think about the need for expansion or reduction of facilities in the United Kingdom and the EU respectively. What is a good location for expansion? Getting a shipment from an online order within a day in the United Kingdom will be a challenge. Just-in-time deliveries become a huge gamble. Is there sufficient skilled staff available? Will cabotage still be possible or will the truck return empty in the near future? Do you need a special permit to drive to the United Kingdom? What risk do you face if you invest in a new vehicle fleet for your journeys in the United Kingdom now?

These questions do not concern import duties or VAT, but are even more important, if possible. Do you think you have enough time left, relating to proposed transitional arrangement until 31 December 2020? Then you are an optimist or a gambler. The United Kingdom and / or the EU could just not agree with the transitional arrangement and then 29 March 2019 is very near. Our advice is: go to work. Don't wait any longer.

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