Is your business ready for Brexit?

Brexit to-do list

Every organisation faces different challenges when it comes to the UK leaving the EU, but there are some key challenges that we all need to address. 

At Vohkus our exporting experts have been working hard to make sure you’re covered. We have created a Brexit to-do list to ensure you’re Brexit ready.


Get ready

1. Have you got an UK EORI number?

If you are a UK business that imports, exports, or uses courier services to transport goods to Europe you must have a UK EORI number, or you’ll be unable to ship goods. EORI stands for “Economic Operator Registration and Identification”.

After Brexit, businesses who trade between the EU and UK will require the shipper and receiver to have an EORI number for their respective country.

To clarify, if you are a UK business sending goods to a supplier in Malta for example, you will require a UK EORI number, and your supplier in Malta will require an EORI number registered in Malta to be able to receive the goods.

UK EORI numbers will not be recognised in the EU. EU EORI numbers will not be accepted in the UK. All businesses must register for an EORI in their respective country as soon as possible. It’s usually an online application on the country’s Government website. You can apply for a UK EORI number from the following government website:

Vohkus has this in place, Vohkus has you covered.

2. Have you agreed on Incoterms with your suppliers and customers?
Incoterms are a set of rules which outline who is responsible for paying for the delivery of goods upon a transaction or trade agreement. The terms should cover; shipping costs, insurance, and tariffs on the items being transported. If there’s an increase in shipping fees, for example, your supplier or customers may be less likely to accept these fees. So, it’s important to put this into consideration and re-evaluate your incoterms, agree on these terms with suppliers and customers to avoid confusion after Brexit.

Vohkus can offer all Incoterms, Vohkus has you covered.

3. Do you know how to describe and classify the goods you are shipping?
Knowing what codes and descriptions to put on import and export documentation and commercial invoices will help avoid your goods being delayed due to unclear descriptions. The below five descriptions should be on all import and export documentation.
UK EORI Number

Provide your company registered Economic Operator Registration and Identification number.
HS Codes / Commodity Codes

What is the HS code for the item you are shipping? Do you know? If not find out the HS codes and ensure the correct code is on all shipping documentation.

Add clear and accurate descriptions regarding the contents of the items being shipping. If it’s an item of clothing, state exactly what type of item of clothing, size, gender including the material it is made of. The key questions to answer when adding descriptions are:
• What is the product?
• What is it made from?
• What is it used for?
Origin of Goods

State the origin of the goods, for example, if you are sending an item from the UK to Europe but it was originally manufactured in India, this needs to be made clear.
True Value of Goods

Provide the true value of the goods being transported on the shipping and insurance documentation to avoid queries with customs. If customs believe the value of goods is inaccurate and not the true market price, they may ask for evidence to prove this. This will delay your shipment and even incur additional charges. To find out the correct classification of goods visit the UK Government website here.

Vohkus Exports department has complete access to the information required, do you?

4. Are you providing a completed commercial invoice?

After Brexit every shipment will need a commercial invoice, most online shipping providers have a feature to create an electronic commercial invoice when booking a shipment. Commercial invoices help customs authorities assess duties, taxes, and asses goods suitability for transportation in and out of the country.

Vohkus will provide the correct invoicing for EU as it does for ROW and has been for the last 10 years, Vohkus has you covered.

5. Do your goods require additional export licenses and supporting documents?

If your business imports or exports special goods you may need an export license and additional documents about the goods. Datacentre, networking, Security, Software may potentially need Export licenses.

Vohkus has an Export licence supplied by the UK Government ready for use from Dec 31st , Vohkus has you covered.

6. Have you contacted your suppliers and customers to discuss the changes?

Keep communication channels flowing by contacting all your regular suppliers and customers before the Brexit deadline. Make sure they understand the potential changes and they agree to put measures in place on their side to avoid import and export hiccups or delays. Ask them if they aware of the potential import VAT & Duty they may have to pay? Check if you have all their update to date contact details and information for completing your export and import declarations.

Vohkus holds weekly calls with all suppliers and freight partners including Government Webinars and meetings, come talk to us about it.

7. Do you have a shipping account manager?

If you use a shipping provider, it’s wise to contact them and make sure you have an Account Manager to help you. Having someone to speak to and act as a liaison to help resolve shipping queries if there is a problem can cut down the time you spend chasing shipping queries. They’ll know whom to speak to get fast answers and solutions if your goods are lost, damaged or held up in customs.

No-one can predict the import and export disruptions that may occur after Brexit. But if businesses proactively check and implement the above “Brexit To-Do List” they’re less likely to experience issues with their shipments.

Vohkus Export Department works in partnership with you to advise and update on all Brexit and Global locations as FOC Consultancy.

*PLEASE NOTE: At the time of this being written, the UK is still part of the EU and the Brexit agreement is still being negotiated. Therefore, this information may be subject to change.

Get your business ready for Brexit

Contact our experts and we’ll arrange a free consultation to make sure you’re fully compliant.

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Get your business ready for Brexit

Contact our experts and we’ll arrange a free consultation to make sure you’re fully compliant.