I didn’t vote for the B word, but must admit I was ignorant going into the referendum. I had no idea that Brexit would cause us personally so many delays at the border.
You see, going into the referendum, businesses like Dartmoor Sheepskins were given messages at various times by the government (and a multitude of others). Whilst undertaking our due diligence, getting import numbers and product codes all in order, I compared our position with what the government said would happen.
We were told that imports would incur an import fee, but no other fees, for example. We were told that delays should settle down to just 48 hours on top of what we were used to already. Even though a this would mean a forty eight hour impact to our cash flow, we at least aren’t in the bussiness of prepared seafood, or indeed medical maggots (we shared photography space with a company that went out of business because the maggots were always DOA after Brexit).
Both these assertions have proven to be untrue, from experience we know that a simple paperwork error will delay shipments by days and even weeks. VAT is at 20%, where some products would have been 11% before (as was the case with supplies from Germany, some classes of which were subject to lower rates). All products are now subject to the highest possible rate.
And so it is once again we face a delay at the border. Our supplier has a new employee who, being unfamiliar with shipping to the UK (as everyone is these days), forgot to add the required additional paperwork to our shipment. Meaning our whole pallet of goods has been returned, via ship, to the country of origin.
I’m here now writing an apology, but in truth I’m a wee bit angry. Not with you, heaven forbid, but with Brexit. I’m not even annoyed with the people who voted for Brexit – they didn’t vote for us to become poorer and more isolated from the rest of the world.
But that is what has happened.
So, as a British company, the promise we make to our customers is having good products available with the convenience of UK supply. But in order to do this we have to interact with companies in Europe! We buy and sell to tanners and dyers throughout Europe all the time. And all goods are subject to taxes at the border, plus handling charge, exactly as if we had traded with a Chinese or American company.
Even Ireland is a foreign country now.
My aim in this blog is actually to apologise for our delayed shipments this week. I’ve spoken to customers and Shannon has been reassuring others via email – all is in order, just delayed due to paperwork.
Red tape. It’s new red tape that we didn’t have before the B word. New. Red. Tape. Grrrrrrrr. I am, truly, sorry.