Blog: Brexit, history will shape the future

The saying ‘Policies delayed are policies denied' does not apply to Brexit. On January 31, 2020, the time had come that the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. At the time of writing this blog, we are nearly 1.5 years further. Have the predictions and doomsday predictions of all the 'experts' become reality? I really have no idea. Nor have I been following it. Maybe in specific cases and for those who have taken (too) late measures and for others not at all.

Before the date of the official Brexit, I have argued on several occasions that I believe in the flexibility of enterprises. Doing business internationally brings all kinds of challenges on a daily basis. Those who choose to do business see the opportunities for their own business operations and accept the consequences. Knowledge, flexibility, attention, foresight, communication, agility of processes, adaptation of systems are terms that spontaneously come to mind when I think of successfully doing international business.

The UK is and will remain a very attractive market for many products and services, regardless of what bilateral agreements are made. Please note that the process of negotiation will always continue: the EU market is of great importance to the UK and vice versa. Each time, governments will adjust aspects to promote trade or protect their own market. So sometimes things get easier, other times a new barrier arises. Unfortunately for those who think they can sit back and relax because "things are running smoothly at the moment", it will not work.

In customs traffic between the EU and the UK, origin has suddenly become of great importance for the level of import duties. For those who are already dealing with the concept of origin, it is well known that its elaboration is very complex. To determine the origin of a product based on the applicable protocols requires detailed knowledge. The REX license is quickly applied for, the declaration on the invoice is easy to print but to be sure whether the declaration of origin is correctly included on the commercial invoice is of a different order. Both the exporter and the importer must be sure that the invoice declaration is correct; one cannot blindly rely on the other.

This complexity means that several companies do not use the option of reduced import duties at all. "Better safe than sorry" is their consideration. This is against the spirit of the trade agreement but in fact, it is the reality. This is another example of the drafting and elaboration of legislation by individuals who themselves do not experience the application in reality. I cannot predict the future but, it certainly will be complex in the future as well. Not only in the area of customs procedures but also VAT, excise, product compliance, environmental compliance and many other trade related obligations. Your future consists of continuously updating knowledge and changing processes. For those who don't see the point, choose for outsourcing these activities.

As the CEO of Pincvision, it must be clear what I think is the best choice! Do you agree with me?

17 Jun 2021 at 1:26 pm
2 min
Published by:
Edo Bosga
CEO (Chief Executive Officer) & Founder
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