Big picture for EU-UK trade: Customs, logistics, and compliance
Post Brexit

Big picture for EU-UK trade: Customs, logistics, and compliance

Customs processes for trade between the UK and the EU are a key priority. But operating cost-effectively now also depends on mastering logistics and compliance.

End-to-end supply chain management: look beyond customs

How is your business coping with EU and UK trade across borders since Brexit? Well versed importers and exporters know that smooth cross-border trade relies on integrated import and export procedures. But they are also aware that customs management is not an isolated area in supply chain management. Cross-border supply chain efficiency goes far beyond customs clearances at all involved borders.

On-time deliveries following significant changes such as Brexit depend on smooth end-to-end logistics from procurement to fulfillment. This involves customs procedures, of course, but also logistics processes and trade compliance procedures. And the better all these areas of your supply chain are integrated, the more cost-effective your business can operate.

How trade changes affect your EU and UK supply chains

If you manage import and export declarations yourself, your software will deliver best value when you integrate it into your current IT landscape. This avoids repetitive or manual data entries. And if you work with customs brokers, your costs will be significantly lower if you work with an integrated platform that allows you to easily exchange data and documents with them.

After the release of the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU, it has become clear that traders need to do much more than just cater for efficient import and export declaration procedures. To achieve zero tariffs for your cross-border trade, your customs management also needs to include working with rules of origin, ensuring accurate product classification, and managing supplier’s declarations.

Working with external service providers goes beyond customs, of course: Your collaboration with carriers and transport partners also relies on integration. Better control, transparency, speed, and flexibility is the result of integrated logistics collaboration – from automated shipping documents and label printing to switching carriers without impacts on operations.

And not to forget about trade compliance management – from business partner screening to export control compliance. Brexit has also resulted in a new UK sanctions regime that is in effect since January 1, 2021. It affects your processes from quotations to deliveries and needs to be integrated into existing internal compliance programs.

Planning for customs, logistics, and trade compliance

Which customs, logistics, and compliance strategies are right for your business depends on your individual processes and organizational structure. There isn't just one way to get things right. But whichever strategy you have chosen, close monitoring of supply chain cost developments is vital now that Brexit is in effect. In fact, such reviews should take place frequently and as part of your continuous improvement cycle.

When have you planned your next financial and operational review? Please ensure to include:

  • Identifying if changing customs filing strategy, for example from outsourcing to insourcing, will be a more cost-efficient choice for your company.
  • Evaluating the manual efforts involved to incorporate the new rules of origin requirements into your existing processes and consider automation.
  • Running a cost comparison to determine whether better integration with your transport partners, or even switching carriers, may be worthwhile.
  • Assessing the integration of the new UK sanctions regime into your existing internal compliance program (ICP) – also considering staff training and IT.

Powerful software solutions are key drivers of efficient supply chains in all markets across the globe. Changes under Brexit truly affect all areas of UK and EU supply chains – from customs to logistics and trade compliance. Automation and integration of involved processes, systems, and partners delivers great benefits – operationally and financially.

Find out more about AEB's solutions for all areas and contact us to learn how they can support your business.