Whilst we have remained in the EU, things have been pretty easy when it comes to selling and shipping packages across borders. However, as of January 1st, all this is set to change, and for Amazon sellers specifically there are a couple of things to bear in mind, and procedures to have in place before the start of the new year.
When we officially leave the EU, this will mean new customs border will be put in place between the UK and the EU, and Amazon sellers will not be able to ship their packages for free across Europe anymore. Now, don’t panic, things may seem complicated but it’s actually pretty simple. BEfore you do anything, you will need to submit the following as part of your customs declaration. You can find more detail on this in this PDF.
- A VAT number for the country in which the product is stored.
- An EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number) for the UK and any EU countries you want to ship goods in and out of.
- Country of Origin information
- Harmonised System Codes.
You may also need to check if you need any additional licenses for shipping to European countries.
When it comes to the VAT on your products, this is also set to change. Currently, you are allowed to sell products throughout the entire EU and across multiple marketplaces with VAT registered in just ONE of these places (countries). As of January 1st you will need to be VAT registered in EVERY country in which you sell products to.
Tips for future-proofing your Amazon business.
Get your own system in place to move your stock. This may be an obvious one, but it’s important to move any stock you need to, before the cut of date, otherwise you may incur extra costs.
Brexit may be the opportunity you needed to shop around for different providers. With shipment throughout the EU being so easy previously, it’s easy to ‘settle’ with a provider you’ve used for a while. However, many providers will be preparing differently for Brexit, which will mean a change of prices and services. Could it be time to switch things up?
Another tip for futureproofing includes ensuring your website features the most up to date information. Your customers may be just as worried about their deliveries, especially if they order a large number of supplies from you for work. Having any delays to their supplies arriving could be hugely stressful as it’s also a situation out of their control. Keep your customers informed with information on your website and social channels. It shows you are knowledgeable about the situation yourselves as a business and sets your customers at ease.
We aren’t sure what the future holds yet for post-Brexit border shipping, and it’s probably inevitable that there will be a few delays or hold ups along the way. However, it’s your job as an Amazon business owner to crisis manage as much as you can when it comes to your business. Customers may have more questions than usual, so it’s always a good idea to consider crisis management, if things are delayed, it’s time to consider how you will handle the situation now and put the necessary practices in place to reduce a crisis.
There’s no doubt that no matter what happens after Brexit, Amazon will still be the biggest player in the E-commerce industry worldwide, we just need to make sure that we minimise the disruption to the flow of shipping as much as possible.