Our first remote call of the year highlighted the steps most of the 20+ suppliers had taken to AVOID the need for New Year shipments.
Early Indications of Challenges Ahead
For the few who were moving goods, or who had movements delayed, there is evidence of a New Year hangover across some ports (notably Felixstowe with significant capacity issues) and that documentation preparation and clearance processes are taking longer than anticipated. More data inputs than anticipated are required for some shipments and agents are already struggling with the current increase in volumes – the impact when volumes ramp back up to normal levels remains to be seen, but we will no doubt find out over the next 2-3 weeks.
Heat treated pallets remain a bone of contention, with the need for them clearly stated but rumours that this will be relaxed are yet to be confirmed in a formal capacity. For now our suppliers are using them in accordance with the guidelines as they currently stand.Two clear recommendations emerged surrounding the Republic of Ireland – the need for a ROI VAT number for supplier DDP deliveries to the Republic and the need for suppliers using EU/UK sourced ingredients to assure themselves of the true country of origin, to ensure compliance within the 40% of transfer VALUE permissible to claim UK product status.
The next few weeks will be critical to understand the true challenges as the new processes bed down, for suppliers, agents, hauliers, ports and customs locations - we are grateful to the suppliers who are willing to share their experiences openly and learn from each other, and my thanks go to our customs and export experts for their practical guidance and clarity.
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