Our second remote call of the year highlighted that for the 20+ suppliers, volumes have yet to return to normal levels, but there are clearly issues with suppliers understanding of some requirements, as well as agents struggling to keep on top of the current levels of volume and differences of interpretation by different EU Country customs teams.
Requirements and Responsibilities
A few companies have clearly mastered the requirements and are facing few if any issues, however they acknowledge the additional time taken to ensure the correct paperwork is onerous. or many, especially those reliant on agents, the position is less clear as delays caused by the volume of documentation mask those which are correct, from those where there are issues, but have yet to be resolved - agents are putting in more resources, but this is likely to remain a challenge for the short-term.
It also raises a question about the value of some agents when the visibility of shipments is lost, or import declarations not completed in a timely manner, and yet the liability for the movement remains solely with the supplier - more and more suppliers are beginning to recognise the advantages on controlling the process themselves.
Disruption In Northern Ireland
The disruption at the NI border continues to confound many, with groupage deliveries virtually impossible for many and some UK retailers requiring suppliers to work with their hauliers to complete the requisite documentation on their behalf, or cease supply. This will continue to remain a significant challenge and yet doesn't even touch on the issues of re-exporting EU product brought in the UK to NI and ROI, which retailers and suppliers are facing alike.
So goods are moving, albeit less quickly than many would like and the the sticking points are becoming progressively clearer. We will continue to invite suppliers to share their challenges and successes fortnightly and work through the issues until all suppliers have discovered how to serve their customers (or not) via a sustainable process.
To find out more about our best practice workgroups please visit our events and membership page for more detail, alternatively get in touch with any questions.
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