The Eye of the Storm

Hello its David here.

Hasn’t it all gone eerily quiet on the Brexit front?  A bit of a ‘Phoney War’, I am thinking.

Don’t be fooled.  Justin’s latest blog is quite correct – Brexit has not gone away.  We don’t all agree with what comes out of Bruxelles, but one comment made just after the latest extension was agreed on rings very true.  To paraphrase it – this extension is not a licence to ignore preparations for its potential six-month duration.  In my humble opinion, such an approach would be foolish to the extent of bordering on the negligent.

Justin’s comments have gravitas.  Our dull politicians seem incapable of grasping the nettle.  This leaves us still high and dry in no man’s land.  We have nothing definite to which we can all work – still!  In this context, a delay seems utterly pointless.  However, let’s see the extra time as an opportunity.  A chance to put in place all that techie stuff in my previous blogs that I believe many were hoping would simply go away.  Certainly, both Justin and I got the impression many clients were ignoring the situation – we had many large companies contacting us only days before the last two deadlines seeking assistance with matters Customs.  This was simply too late and would have led to chaos had Brexit already happened.

Now we have a second chance to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.  As Justin has stated, despite the uncertainties, there are things we can do together now.  This in anticipation of a no deal or harder form of Brexit, in case this turns out to be the end result.  Such steps are outlined in my previous blogs.  Please take the trouble to revisit these.  In the coming days and weeks, I will put out resumes of the main points. 

Meanwhile, I ask you to consider something else.  The complexity of your imports and exports with the EU27.  Some of our clients’ trade is quite straight forward from a Customs perspective.  Some are decidedly complex.  It really comes down to two main factors –countries of origin and commodity codes.  The more you have of either, the more complex your Customs requirements are.  A simple declaration will have one or two of either and presents no major impact on staffing in terms of keying the Customs entry.  Complex jobs will have tens, scores or even hundreds of permutations.  This type can take many hours to process.  There is a direct impact on required staffing levels and this is reflected in what is charged for Customs clearance.  How can you help yourself?  By:

  • Establishing the complexity of the products in which you trade with EU27 members
  • If this is complex, talk to us now

Speak to us via your usual contact, leaving a reply to our blogs or emailing

What can we do to help?  If you can present invoice information in an electronic format, we can get our IT specialists to suggest ways to process much of the information electronically.  This reduces errors and the time your declarations take, thereby enabling us to give you the most competitive costings for your Customs needs.

Please don’t wait to act.  We all know IT matters can take time to get right.  We are expecting another rush from clients in the run-up to the new deadline – don’t get caught out when you have the chance to get in the driving seat.

The current subdued nature of Brexit is just the eye of the storm.


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