Brexit update from Ezi Returns – 2nd April 2021


Here is the latest information our customers should be aware of as a result of Brexit issues being experienced. We have highlighted some general issues affecting all sellers and some specific news about shipments for UK based sellers as well as specific news affecting EU based sellers.


General
As you may know, many couriers and shipping companies have suffered severe disruption and delays due to Brexit customs issues in addition to COVID-19 related restrictions.


This has resulted in many couriers and shippers withdrawing or restricting services between the UK and EU resulting in severe delays, returned shipments, confusion and increased costs.  Most couriers who still offer services between the EU and UK have imposed customs handling charges in addition to an increase in shipping rates.  

Businesses and end consumers have also been faced with additional VAT and customs charges and processes.


At Ezi Returns we have been preparing for such problems for some time and even though we have been importing and exporting from countries outside the UK / EU for some time, we must admit we are surprised and shocked at how difficult the situation is.  We took the decision early to suspend use of all couriers based on the increased costs and unworkable processes they were imposing and now 2 months into 2021 we know that was the correct decision. 

When you add in the complication of returned goods, most couriers do not want to or are not capable of dealing correctly with returned goods shipments, especially returning goods into the EU. So, we introduced our own Ezi consolidated service for returning goods in bulk to the UK from the EU by weekly truck shipments and have attempted to do the same from the UK to the EU.


EU to UK Shipments

Our weekly bulk shipping service to the UK is working and we are able to ship your goods as long as we have the correct information to clear the goods through customs.  Our team and partners have done a great job in setting up this service which has been difficult and time consuming due to the issues mentioned above.

The rates below are more expensive than we had hoped due to the highly inflated prices demanded by transporters in addition to customs clearance charges.  Transit times are slightly longer than they were using couriers Pre Brexit, but please be assured that as we manage to reduce costs these will be passed on to you our customers.

The example rates below are in place now but are subject to change at any time. Rates include final mile delivery and customs clearance. (excluding VAT) 

 

From Germany                                            From France / Italy

to UK Mainland                                          to UK Mainland

Standard box up to 10-20kg                                                                 £19.98                                                                £23.80

Large Box or std box over 20kg                                                          £23.60                                                                £27.90

Pallet                                                                                                                   £202.65                                                             £237.50

 

UK to EU Shipments

Getting shipments out of the UK to the EU has proved to be extremely difficult. We are one of many businesses who have struggled to find a solution.


We have looked into shipping your goods from the UK to the EU by consolidated shipment using a dedicated customs broker to clear the goods as returned goods so that no customs duties and taxes were payable.


Unfortunately, this will not be possible.  EU customs authorities charge import VAT and duties on ALL goods that arrive in the EU. If the shipment contains returned goods then you can reclaim these charges from your customs authority at a later date.


Currently we are offering the following solutions to try and help EU based sellers with stock stuck in the UK.  Free storage will be provided for a month until you have reached a decision as to how to proceed.


1.Ship by courier. Please note that you will be charged customs duties and taxes at the point of entry into the EU.  You will have to submit a claim to your customs authorities to reclaim the charges made if your goods are returns.


2.Liquidation of your stock in the UK.


3.Resell / fulfilment service to resell your return goods to new customers within the UK (please note conditions apply)

Brexit - Useful Information

There is an abundance of information advising businesses how the new changes will affect the outgoing sales of your goods post Brexit. We have detailed some information regarding some general points to consider for both our UK based and EU based sellers below.

   

However, there is much less information detailing how you get your returned goods back to you.  Luckily, we are here to help, as returns are our speciality!!

We ship goods back regularly from the USA, CAN and AUS into the UK and the EU. 


The same or very similar customs requirements will be needed for shipments of returned goods back to you in the cross border trade between the UK and the EU.    We are well versed in this process so rest assured that we can advise you.

UK Based Sellers

Shipping your goods back to the UK will now involve a 2 stage process:    an export from the EU and an import back into the UK.

 

To enable the import into the UK you will need a valid GB EORI number. We will need this information from you before we ship your goods.

 

We will ship your goods back to the UK under the RGR (Returned Goods Relief) scheme.  This declares the shipment as a reimport, as the goods were originally shipped to the EU from the UK and are now being returned to the UK in an unaltered state.  This is extremely important as it means that you should not be liable to pay any customs duties and taxes when importing your returns into the UK.

 

To ship your goods under the RGR scheme you need to be able to prove that the goods are returned goods.  It is a legal HMRC obligation to keep records of ALL your exported orders. So you will need to keep a record of all goods sold and shipped to the EU including the order number, tracking reference (or CN22 document if you use Royal Mail), courier used, date shipped and evidence of the original order and refund made. 

 

We will need evidence from you to prove you are keeping these records and a declaration to state that if the goods were stopped by customs we could call on you for this information. If your management software is integrated with our software then we will have all this information on hand.  Please contact us if you are interested in integrating with us.


A change in the shipment process from Jan 2021

 

Consolidated Shipments

To streamline the process your goods may be shipped under our Ezi consolidated services and cleared using our own dedicated customs broker who is fully versed in shipping goods through RGR. This may take a few days longer than direct shipments using couriers.  For most customers we will move your shipments to this service unless you request otherwise. Rates will be available by the end of December.

 

Direct Shipments using Couriers

Direct shipments from our EU hubs will still be available but most couriers are adding surcharges to deal with the customs processes required. Rates will be revised and published as soon as possible after we receive them from the various couriers.

 

Check List of what we need from you

 Before we ship we may need the following from you and we will contact you accordingly.

 

  • Your GB EORI number
  • Evidence that you keep records of your exports to the EU
  • A declaration stating that you can provide evidence of the original export of your goods from the UK to the EU as required under the RGR scheme
  • A simplified commercial invoice detailing the HS Code, description and value of your goods
  • A detailed commercial invoice containing the product information and full evidence of the original export

General Points for UK Based Businesses

 

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will have some implications with regards to how you sell in the EU going forward from Jan 2021 as distance selling rules will no longer apply. 


Put very simply, this means when you send an item to the EU from the UK, this will now involve 2 stages:  an export from the UK and an import into the EU

 

There are 2 important consequences of this:

 

1. You may now need 2 EORI numbers. 

An EU EORI number to import into the EU (when you send your goods into the EU). 

A GB EORI to import into the UK (when your returns are shipped back to the UK).

 

To apply for a GB EORI number click here.  To apply for your EU EORI number you will need to contact the tax authority in the country directly. List of EU Customs authorities here.

 

Some marketplaces are providing solutions through partners to ensure compliance for EORI numbers and VAT. We strongly recommend seeking specialist advice regarding the potential implications for EORI numbers and VAT.

 

2. You will be charged customs duties and taxes on your shipment into the EU. This tariff will be calculated on the commodity code (HS code) of your items and the value of this product, the details of which you must provide on your customs declaration. 

 

Amazon and most other marketplaces are insisting that you send your goods DDP, with all taxes and duties paid, so that your customer does not have to pay anything on receipt of the goods.  If  you are unsure of the HS code for your products you can find more information here

 


More Information / Useful Links for UK Businesses

gov.uk website
British Chamber of Commerce Brexit hub

SimplyVAT.com

List of EU Customs authorities

EU Based Sellers

 Shipping your goods back to the EU will now involve a 2 stage process:  an export from the UK and an import back into the EU.


To enable the import into the EU you would need a valid EU EORI number. We will need this information before we ship you goods.


Please note that EU customs authorities charge customs duties and taxes on ALL goods arriving in the EU.  This tariff will be calculated on the commodity code (HS code) of your items and the value of this product, the details of which you must provide on your customs declaration.


These must be paid to release the goods. This is out of our control. If the shipment contains returned goods then you can reclaim these charges at a later date from your customs authority.


 It is essential that you keep accurate records of all your orders and goods you send to the UK. This will include the order number, tracking reference, courier used, date shipped and evidence of the original order and refund made. This information  may be requested to reclaim the charges.

 

 

A change in the shipment process from Jan 2021


Please note that most couriers are adding surcharges to deal with the customs declaration required. Rates will be revised and published as soon as possible after we receive them from the various couriers.

 

You will need to provide customs information  on each of your shipments. We will contact you for this information prior to each shipment. 


If your order management software is integrated with our software then we will have all this information on record and can proceed without your input.  Please contact us if you are interested in integrating with us.


Once the goods arrive in the EU you will be contacted to pay the customs duties and charges due.  Please note you only have a limited time to pay these charges

to the courier to avoid the shipment being returned to the UK and incurring re delivery fees. They will not deliver the goods to you until these are paid.

You will then have to contact the customs agency in your country to find out how to reclaim these charges if the shipment contains returned goods.


General Points for EU based businesses selling into the UK

 

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will have some implications with regards to how you sell into the UK going forward from Jan 2021, as distance selling rules will no longer apply. 


Put very simply, this means when you send an item to the EU from the UK, this will now involve 2 stages:  an export from the EU and an import into the UK.


There are 2 important consequences of this:

 

1. You may now need 2 EORI numbers. 

 A GB EORI number to import into the UK (when you send your goods into the UK). 

An EU EORI to import into the EU (when your returns are shipped back to the EU).

 

To apply for a GB EORI number click here.  

To apply for your EU EORI number you will need to contact your local VAT or tax authority in your own country. List of EU Customs authorities here.

 

Some marketplaces are providing solutions through partners to ensure compliance for EORI numbers and VAT.  We strongly recommend seeking specialist advice regarding the potential implications for EORI numbers and VAT.


2. You will be charged customs duties and taxes on your shipment into the UK. This tariff will be calculated on the commodity code (HS code) of your items and the value of this product, the details of which you must provide on your customs declaration. 

 

Amazon and other selling platforms are insisting that you send your goods DDP, with all taxes and duties paid, so that your customer does not have to pay anything on receipt of the goods. 

 

More Information / Useful Links for EU Businesses
Other Useful Points to Consider
Other Useful Points to Consider

Potential Opportunities

Whilst almost everyone involved in international e commerce does not welcome any form of Brexit there will be opportunities for those sellers that take the time and effort to prepare and work around the potential issues. 


We expect that some sellers will reduce or stop selling cross border as a result of Brexit, giving substantial opportunities for those that continue selling internationally. Likewise, some non-UK based sellers may reduce or stop selling into the UK, potentially giving up market share to UK based sellers in their home market. Only time will tell.

There are also opportunities to ship goods in bulk into the EU or from the EU into the UK and use one of our hubs to fulfill orders or forward your orders onto the end recipients or onto Amazon. Please note for our FBA sellers, if you send us stock to store and then send into Amazon at a later date, the duties will be suspended until the goods are sent into Amazon as they are only then classed as in free circulation

Please contact us for information and a quote on these services.


Software developments

The information required by customs can be far reaching when returning your goods.  Ezi Returns are continuing in their endeavour to make it easy for their sellers and have been working on software to try and automate the customs requirements as much as possible when preparing to ship your goods back into the EU or the UK.

This automation requires an integration with your order management software so the information can be easily retrieved when needed. Please contact us without delay so we can add you to the list of sellers requiring integration in readiness for the changes ahead.  Let us take care of your return shipments with minimal input from yourselves and you can concentrate on increasing your sales EZI!!

Potential Opportunities

Whilst almost everyone involved in international e commerce does not welcome any form of Brexit there will be opportunities for those sellers that take the time and effort to prepare and work around the potential issues. 


We expect that some sellers will reduce or stop selling cross border as a result of Brexit, giving substantial opportunities for those that continue selling internationally. Likewise, some non-UK based sellers may reduce or stop selling into the UK, potentially giving up market share to UK based sellers in their home market. Only time will tell.

There are also opportunities to ship goods in bulk into the EU or from the EU into the UK and use one of our hubs to fulfill orders or forward your orders onto the end recipients or onto Amazon. Please note for our FBA sellers, if you send us stock to store and then send into Amazon at a later date, the duties will be suspended until the goods are sent into Amazon as they are only then classed as in free circulation

Please contact us for information and a quote on these services.


Software developments

The information required by customs can be far reaching when returning your goods.  Ezi Returns are continuing in their endeavour to make it easy for their sellers and have been working on software to try and automate the customs requirements as much as possible when preparing to ship your goods back into the EU or the UK.

This automation requires an integration with your order management software so the information can be easily retrieved when needed. Please contact us without delay so we can add you to the list of sellers requiring integration in readiness for the changes ahead.  Let us take care of your return shipments with minimal input from yourselves and you can concentrate on increasing your sales EZI!!

Check list for UK and EU based businesses

  • Know your commodity code.
  • Know your tariff.
  • Know the origin of your goods - Country of Manufacture.
  • Do your products need a licence?
  • Keep your records of the original export.
  • Plan for delays.
  • Plan for increased shipping costs.
  • Make sure if you need 2 EORI numbers for import into the EU and the UK.
  • Get some specialist VAT advice.