Hurricane Commerce – Brexit problems early zephyrs of coming storm

Cross border e-commerce delivery experts Hurricane Commerce have warned that the recent problems in cross border trade with the EU are ‘just the tip of the iceberg’. The company warns that the border issues caused by lack of complete and valid customs data, and VAT now being payable on low-value goods into the UK, are likely to cause even greater problems in the coming weeks.

Hurricane Commerce have pointed to DPD suspending their parcels to the EU thanks to 20% of the parcels they were asked to move having incorrect or incomplete information. At the same time a number of major online retailers have paused taking orders from EU countries thanks to the extra customs paperwork required. At the same time many EU retailers have stopped taking orders from the UK.

Martin Palmer, Hurricane’s chief content and compliance officer, commented, “Online merchants and marketplaces, postal operators and carriers are starting to see the reality of Brexit and the ending of VAT exemption on low-value goods by the UK government.

“With the EU also removing the low-value VAT threshold in July, the compliance pressures on all parts of the cross-border supply chain are set to intensify even further with similar issues to be experienced in all EU countries to those current being experienced in the UK. The first week and a half since Brexit is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We predicted for the last six months of 2020 that many businesses were going to face serious challenges post-January 1, while others did their planning and put the best possible systems in place. There is simply no escape from the need for complete and valid customs clearance data including product descriptions, HS6 codes, shipper and consignee details and country of origin.

“Retailers which offer Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) give themselves the best chance of keeping their customers happy by avoiding the doorstep shock of unexpected fees for customs duties and import taxes.”