Brexit 2021 & Beyond

Brexit is here, with a deal, so now is the time to embrace it, deal with it and make the best of it, with no turning back.

I have been running my business successfully for nine years, and it is important to me that we are fully prepared for the changes Brexit will bring, so we can continue to give our customers the best service.

Creative Nature exports to 14 countries inside and outside the EU and does a small amount of import trading too. 

As we only import a small amount from the EU, we have deliberately looked at ways around this to enable us to prepare for what’s ahead as we’re not quite sure how leaving the EU could affect our supply chain  yet.

Around 5% of our exports are shipped to the EU, with the majority of the rest, outside. Our exports in the Middle East is growing year on year.

In fact even when we knew years ago that Brexit was coming, we planned for the opportunities elsewhere and made that part of our business planning. Did you?

What are the practical implications for Creative Nature:

There are issues that affect all businesses with the transition to Brexit. The biggest problem for every one of them is the uncertainty involved – and still involved today. Even with a deal in place, due to the speed that changes are happening, there are many opportunities for things to go awry.

As business owners we can only do our best to plan for changes which are not clear to anyone at the moment. We’re also not clear how consumer behaviour will change, if at all, as our biggest concern currently is Covid19, lockdown and the UK economy.

It’s important to reflect on how far down our agenda Brexit has fallen in the light of the lessons we’ve been taught in 2020 and already this year. It’s possible the full impact will not be felt for a couple of years, for good or otherwise. We simply have bigger things to face at the moment.

Some actions that businesses can take, are straightforward, and commented on below, however, there are still many unknowns.

  • Early on, we made sure we had our Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number, which is vital for both imports and exports.

The EORI number allows you to move goods between Great Britain, or the Isle of Man and other countries. If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland, you may need a separate EORI.

Without an EORI you may have increased costs and delays. One example being, if HM Revenue and Customs cannot clear your goods, you may have to pay storage fees.

For more detailed information: https://www.gov.uk/eori

  • We also regularly speak with our DIT (Department of International Trade) adviser. Do you know your adviser?
  • We are also ensuring we have extra stock in case of any delays later.
  • We have also planned ahead by setting up forward contracts on stock at a specific price point, to try to cope with the uncertainty we, and our supply chain are feeling.

Things we are having to alter due to Brexit:

  • Having to re-label all products going into the EU from 1st January, have had to print 1000’s and 1000’s of labels.
  • We will have to hand stick these on otherwise there could be a £1250 fine plus £250 a day, whilst goods are held at a port.
  • Organic equivalency means now we have to change all our organic logos. This is a financial loss, as we hold packaging for  four months plus at a time.
  • There is no period of grace in making these changes, which is awful. We should at least be allowed a settling-in time until we know exactly what’s going on.
  • As for tariffs we still have no control and cannot really adapt until we know what is happening, when and where.

I would recommend that all businesses look at the Government website which we use to check for the latest updates. https://www.gov.uk/transition

If you are a challenger brand, like Creative Nature, and you need some consultancy support around this – please get in touch via my agent Fiona Scott on 07789 270030 or email fiona@fionascott.co.uk

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