Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Shipping to or From the EU? Things Getting on Top of You?

Time to Contact a Freight Forwarder Says HMRC
Shipping News Feature

UK – EUROPE – It has taken the UK Government over four years to wake up to what may be needed after the country exits the European Union and now, just a couple of months away from the big Brexit day, it has finally turned to logistics experts to help explain what exactly exporters and importers need to know.

Each individual shipper will need precise answers to bespoke questions and now HM Customs and Excise have recruited independent freight forwarder Davies Turner to assist in producing a video spelling out exactly what those who are still sitting in the Brexit darkness should be doing to avoid problems.

The film, viewable HERE, is a public information broadcast, which now appears on HMRC’s social media channels and is part of a publicity drive by HMRC, working alongside the Cabinet Office, designed to showcase the services offered by the logistics sector and to provide clarity to those businesses that have only ever been involved in the EU and Single Market, with no previous experience of international trade in the wider world.

Needless to say the video also serves to encourage importers and exporters to use the services of freight forwarders as part of their preparations for the imminent end of the transition period. Davies Turner Chairman Philip Stephenson phrases it thus:

“Customs clearance can be a complex process and this is one area of a shipper’s business where it almost certainly doesn’t pay to do it yourself. Mistakes can have major financial implications, or can delay shipments and most importantly lose the goodwill of valued customers.”

Davies Turner is singularly well qualified in taking on the task of informing the uninitiated with 150 years of uninterrupted trading under its belt. It has been handling international freight and logistics longer than most, but has kept fully up to speed with the latest developments. Davies Turner Air Cargo was one of the first companies in the EU to gain Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accreditation, back in 2008, whilst Davies Turner & Co followed suit two years later, and Davies Turner Ireland (DTI) also gained AEO status with Irish Revenue earlier this year.

AEO status is proof that a company fully complies with all financial and Customs requirements, as well as demonstrating first class security at all its premises and distribution centres throughout its transport operations. Benefits include fewer documentary and physical examinations of cargo, priority use of non-intrusive inspection techniques when examination is required, and priority processing by Customs or Border Force when security is heightened.

The new video features Davies Turner Director Alan Williams who explains how freight forwarders can be a company’s ‘eyes and ears’ to ensure that goods get cleared through the borders either in the UK or abroad with the minimum of complications or delay. He describes how a decent freight forwarder can classify goods for customs purposes, sort out vital paperwork like customs invoices and offer services such as consultancy or explain regimes such as CFSP.

During the film Williams adds that many businesses have already responded to the approaching deadline and says enquiries to Davies Turner’s own call centres have gone up by 300%. He goes on to say that in order to have goods to move quickly and a supply chain to continue functioning smoothly it is essential to rely on the services of a freight forwarder with a pan-European transport network.

Having begun preparations for Brexit in 2016 Davies Turner has, from the start of this year, also been offering its clients consultancy services on the AEO programme, following a surge in the number of tenders and preferred supplier qualification applications asking for accreditation.