Preparing for Brexit

  • Posted by: Michael Winkelmann

BREXIT. Whether you are in favour or not nobody is denying that there will be significant financial impacts when the safety blanket of the transition period is taken away in the new year.

It is going ahead and, as business owners, we do need to be prepared.

Whilst we still don’t know the exact details there is plenty that we can be getting on with

  1. Check all imports that you make from the EU. Follow up with suppliers to see what service they are expecting to provide. Increase stocks a little to buffer against any delivery delays and look for more local suppliers or replacement products.
  2. Check any EU customers. Will you still be able to service them in the same timescales? Would they like to increase their stocks a little to allow for any potential delivery delays? Can you hold stock overseas on their behalf?
  3. What import/export paperwork will you need? Do you have inhouse experts that can handle this or do you need to recruit or find an agency?
  4. VAT changes. As for non-EU imports VAT will need to be paid by importers. Ensure that your suppliers are prepared for this. You may have to pay for goods in advance to cover their cashflow.
  5. EORI number. You will need an EORI number to move goods to the EU. You can get your number here but you need to apply before you ship goods.
  6. CE marking for products will be replaced by UKCA marking. You can still use CE marking until 1 January 2022.
  7. Ensure that all your team have the relevant immigration status to continue to work for you. If they don’t yet have settled status then help them to put together the documentation that they need. Some EU staff may plan to leave the country so you may need to decide how to replace them after they have gone.
  8. Forecast how your business will cope with increased prices due to tariffs. Can you support reduced margins or will you need to pass the higher costs onto customers? Do you need to look for alternative suppliers?

The more we can prepare for early on the more successful we are likely to be trading through the early months and years of Brexit. Walk through your business and look for any aspect that will be affected by Brexit. Then decide what you can do to minimise your exposure.

If you need any help preparing for Brexit then do get in touch.