Jenkar News

How Has Brexit Affected Freight Forwarding?


23rd June 2016 is a date that will go down in history, marked as the day the UK voted to
leave the European Union (EU). In the years since the decision to leave was made, many
industries have felt the impact this has had on their operations, especially the freight
forwarding industry.

The impact Brexit has had on the freight forwarding and logistics industry has been
significant. Before Brexit, there were no customs borders between EU states meaning that
there was no need for paperwork and customs delays when transporting goods, making
the process much more seamless.

Many industries have had to adapt to the disruptions, restrictions and documentation
challenges that have been caused thanks to Brexit. All goods and cargo exported and
imported in and out of the UK and the EU have been subjected to new regulations and
new processes, making what was already a complex process more difficult.

It’s been over 4 years since the UK officially exited the EU on 31st January 2020, but these
effects are still being felt across the industry today. Here are some of the key effects that
Brexit had on freight forwarding and the new procedures you need to know when trading
with EU countries.

Regulatory differences

One of the main challenges Brexit has brought to the freight forwarding industry is
navigating the new regulations and standards between the UK, EU member states and
other countries. Importers and exporters now need to comply with both sets of

requirements, making this process much more complicated than it had been.
This can include needing different certifications, correct labelling and extra
documentation to comply with the regulations of each country a shipment passes

Changes to documentation

Transporting goods in and out of the UK and the EU post-Brexit has led to an increase in
documentation requirements, adding extra layers to an already intricate process. Customs
declarations have become more detailed, requiring precise information about the
contents, country of origin and value of goods.

The more paperwork and details that are required, the more opportunity there is to make
mistakes, which could be costly and lead to delays.

Drivers especially need to carry more documentation, including insurance documents
and proof that their vehicle is approved to cross borders. These newly introduced checks
and administrative changes have made the freight process longer and can lead to
increased delivery times.

Customs Clearance

The reintroduction of customs procedures and border controls between the UK and EU member states has led to delays and challenges for exporters and importers. Freight forwarders especially have had to adapt their processes to ensure compliance, including investing in additional staff and new technology. 

Changes to customs clearance have slowly come into effect over the last few years, with new still coming into play as recent as this year. On 30th April 2024, the second phase of UK border controls came into effect. These new checks see meat and dairy, plants and seeds subject to physical checks when imported from the EU.

Increased Costs

Many businesses have also found themselves coping with increased freight forwarding costs thanks to Brexit. Only goods that meet the ‘Rules of Origin’ requirements can be imported or exported tariff and quota free. 

The reintroduction of tariffs and duties on certain types of goods however has made pricing and the cost of shipments complex. Freight forwarders must now accurately calculate and manage these additional costs.

Trading within the EU post-Brexit

If you are importing or exporting goods to and from the EU, then here are the post-Brexit changes that you need to be aware of: 

● You will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that is prefixed with GB if trading from the UK. EU businesses require an EU EORI number. This is compulsory for customs clearance of all goods entering or leaving the UK. 

● Hauliers, or the person driving your goods, must be ready for checks at the border. This includes ensuring they have the correct documentation. 

● You must provide detailed information about the goods being shipped including country of origin, the nature of the goods and their value. 

● VAT needs to be paid on goods imported from the EU. There may be deferred VAT accounting available for UK businesses however. 

● To benefit from zero tariffs under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, businesses must meet the Rules of Origin requirements and provide proof that their goods are of UK or EU origin. 

● Physical checks on certain goods such as meat, dairy and plans will be carried out when crossing borders.

Choose The Right Freight Forwarder

Choosing the right freight forwarding partner can be an important decision for businesses that are looking to maintain smooth logistics operations. Brexit has brought a whole host of new regulations, documentation and customs delays that can be confusing and overwhelming to navigate. This makes having a trusted and reliable freight forwarding partner by your side more valuable than ever. 

At Jenkar, we understand the complexities and challenges that come with international shipping, especially in a post-Brexit landscape. Our team of experienced experts are dedicated to simplifying your logistics and supply chain needs, ensuring that your goods move efficiently and seamlessly across EU borders. 

We offer a comprehensive range of services that can be tailored to meet your specific business needs. From customs clearance and documentation to warehousing and stock management, we are equipped to handle every aspect of your supply chain with care and expertise. Contact us today with your freight enquiry and a member of our friendly team will be back in touch with you as soon as possible!

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