Who knew learning about Customs and Borders could actually be fun?! This week 24 FMCG suppliers gathered for a 1-day workshop, facilitated by Simply Supply Chain, on how best to implement the incoming Windsor Framework and the changes to the wider TOM.
With most suppliers scoring less than 5/10 in the pre-workshop quiz it was clear that trying to navigate the complexity of labelling, GB imports and exports was a challenge for most.
We were joined by leading customs expert Robert Hardy of EORI Ltd who, with 35 plus years in European shipping, freight and Customs clearance, was perfectly placed to deliver an incisive and practical walk-through of the options to flow suppliers’ goods through the borders and manage their customs processes efficiently followed by an interactive and highly engaging Q&A session.
All attendees were invited to complete a benchmark on whether they were currently managing their customs processes in the most efficient and cost-effective manner and, by working through a live example, we were able to highlight the differences between each of their solutions and a ‘Best-in-Class’ customs process.
We were also delighted to welcome ED Gilbert, Head of Policy Northern Ireland Directorate, Defra as a guest speaker who, as one of the core team developing the Windsor Framework and the NI was able to provide the audience with clear and highly informative interpretation of the Framework and its obligations and, following a number of searching questions, was able to clarify the requirements for most suppliers and take away the more technical questions to respond to directly.
The day reinforced the need for simple, clear communication in an area of great complexity and varying levels of understanding. There was a great deal of learning as peers were able to compare and contrast their own interpretations and challenges, being guided to solutions that were legislatively compliant and effective, from a customs perspective.
As a result of the feedback already received, we're already working on another workshop in the New Year and with elements of the Border Operation Model being postponed (and previously postponed elements set to engage) there is a clear need for suppliers to fully understand what the changes mean for them and their logistics providers.
Take the quiz, check your level of understanding and if there are gaps then we would highly recommend that you join us again for our next workshop