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Crossing the border

By Retail Technology | Monday July 20 2020 | UPDATED 21.07.20

Cross-border ecommerce retailers need to prepare for EU border checks from January 1, but what will it entail? Hurricane Commerce CEO Martyn Noble explains

Cross-border ecommerce retailers in the UK have been warned that full border checks will be imposed on any goods entering the EU from January 1 next year.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator, told a House of Lords Committee that Brussels will not agree to any delay despite the UK pledging not to introduce full border checks on EU goods until July 2021.

With just six months to go, the pressures will now ramp up on UK-based and EU online retailers to ensure they have the right systems in place to combat the potential fallout from the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

One of the biggest requirements will be to ensure that goods being sent into the EU and to the UK have the right data sets including accurate HS6 codes and product descriptions.

Greater scrutiny

Without them, the fear is that importing ports will not have the capacity to process information with the likelihood of lengthy delays in goods clearing customs.

ecommerce brands also face greater scrutiny to ensure that goods are not being sent to denied parties - individuals or organisations on banned lists - or shipping goods that are prohibited or restricted in certain countries.

Online retailers will also need to ensure they have the best possible landed cost engine to ensure they are providing their customers with the right duty and tax calculations.

A growing number of leading ecommerce brands are providing their customers with a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) service, in which they take responsibility for paying duties and taxes that are due, increasing cost transparency and customer satisfaction.

Accurate data

Brexit is just one major part of a changing geopolitical landscape that is requiring anyone involved in cross-border ecommerce  to provide accurate data and become more compliant.

Other factors include the US-China trade war, changes in VAT regulations and advanced electronic data capture.

It is creating cross-border trade uncertainty and complexity, after decades of perceived stability resulting in far-reaching changes to the legislative and regulatory environment and the associated compliant shipping procedures.

Compliance is never optional. It is like a tax; any brand wanting to compete in the fast-paced world of ecommerce is required to fulfil their obligations and demonstrate they are equipped to operate in accordance with the law and the regulations.

See Validify vendor profile link for Hurricane Commerce here.



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