On the horizon

Navigating Brexit

Hard Brexit or soft Brexit, change is coming to how companies in the Netherlands trade with the United Kingdom. One of our leading experts gives you some insights on how to prepare for the journey ahead.

Michiel Sengers 30.10.2018

Dutch Brexit
Dutch Brexit

The long arm of Brexit will reach far outside the UK once all is said and done. If you’re a trader doing business in the Netherlands, you may wonder just how Britain’s exit from the European Union will impact you and your company. 

Or you may be looking for sage advice on what you can do now to prepare for any end-game the Brits and EU throw your way. 

Our Richard Groenendijk, AEB’s General Manager in the Netherlands, gives you some of his best tips below on how to prepare for what now seems like inevitable change.

And if you need yet more information, be sure to check out our Brexit tool kit. It's up to date guides and informative articles will keep you in the know. 

Richard Groenendijk
Richard Groenendijk

Richard Groenendijk, AEB’s General Manager in the Netherlands

The most important step of all is the best place to start. All companies that export to or import from the UK, will need to have an EORI number post-Brexit. If your company doesn’t have one yet, start that process now.

For EORI number application information, you can view our step-by-step guide for Dutch traders. This applies to companies who plan to do self-filing as well as companies that have outsourced the customs filing process for example by working with brokers. 

If you need to do import filing and export filing our two solutions in those areas will help you do both in the wake of Brexit. And to facilitate collaboration with your brokers and, benefit from AEB’s growing network of brokers, take a look at our customs broker integration offerings. 

Speaking of customs post Brexit, it will be a busy place after March 29, 2019. The time is now to request a certificate of origin if you need one. Customs will be busy with last minute requests after Brexit and that will mean a long waiting period for everyone.

And while it seems like it should not need to be said, a renewed focus on your products will be critical in the months ahead. 

  • Take a good look at your product types. There could be non-tariff agreements and that will mean the need for bio-certificates or veterinary inspections.
  • Also, examine how your products are classified and see what rates will apply to your products. Think about potential price adjustments. 
  • Do not assume that your products are now classified the same as they were 10 years ago.  What used to be a video monitor is now a computer monitor. Do you have products that have evolved and so have been reclassified?
  • Also, you may be charged excise duty on your products in the future. Think about applying for a waiver with your business contacts in the UK.

Of course, it’s hard to talk about changes on this scale at any company and not talk about IT.  

  • Is your IT system prepared and able to handle the requirements for all customs procedures in the future?
  • Can it process data for origin rules? That will mean including statements on invoices such as where goods come from.
  • Are you still without an IT system that does declarations? Do you need to change that now?
Dutch Brexit
Dutch Brexit

Your IT operation is critical now and it will be more so after Brexit. Don’t forget to evaluate it based on your company’s needs after March 29.

Three other areas you need to check now:

Be aware of non-contractual binding agreements. For example, if you deliver products to your customers in two days, this will be seen as a binding agreement, even if it is not in a contract. Take a good look at whether you can still make that kind of commitment in the post-Brexit world.

As you are thinking about products, think about your customers. Inform your customers that there will be a post-Brexit delay in the delivery of goods. It is expected that declaration releases in the customs systems will get stuck and response time will increase.

Last but not least, check whether you still meet all requirements for an AEO status. There will soon be checks and your status can be taken away from you. Customs in the Netherlands has a web page that tells you how to maintain your status and gives you another overview page with informative links to the AEO-guidelines.

Michiel Sengers
About the author
Michiel Sengers
Born in the Netherlands and having lived for almost a decade in Singapore, Michiel Sengers has gained insights in and picked up on important developments in IT, supply chain and global trade in a multitude of Asian markets as well as his home-country.

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