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16th December 2019

Further to last week’s election result, the new is that there will be no change to our current shipping process into the EU.  We will continue to trade with the benefits of the Single Market even though the UK will theoretically leave the EU on 31st January 2020.  The transition period will continue to the 31st December 2020.
For further details on the transition period you can go to https://fullfact.org/europe/no-deal-brexit-2020-end-transition/
Many of our European customers have been asking for an update on our plan for Brexit.   The key news is that we will be able to deliver shipments as usual with minimal disruption and delays along with no additional Customs and admin costs for our customers.  We have put together the full details below.
We have been working hard this year to setup a plan to manage any eventuality with Brexit.  The uncertainty of what the outcome will be has encouraged us to amend our original plan to ensure we have continuity of supply no matter what the final conclusion.  In 2019 we recruited a logistics specialist to scope out our plans and work out which are the best options.  After extensive research, we have come up with the following solution.
The Plan Details
  • We currently use DHL as our courier partner for UK and International shipments.  Our long standing relationship and confidence in their service and knowledge of logistics led us to liaise with them over a solution.  They have made the following contingency plans to manage the days, weeks and months after Brexit.
    • Employed over 200 additional staff in the UK to focus on handling Customs processing.
    • Expanded their hub in Amsterdam with an additional 500 staff recruited to focus on British goods exported to the EU.
    • Added additional cargo planes to Air Freight shipments from the UK into the Amsterdam hub as well as additional landing and take-off slots at regional airports.
    • Any Road Freight shipments that would normally pass through Dover will be routed through Air Freight as this is a potential bottle neck that could hold up shipments.
    • DHL uses “paperless trade” to raise commercial invoices for Customs processing.  Sontay already utilise this for shipments outside of the EU and Customs clearance is made whilst the order is in transit to prevent delays on arrival.
  • In the event of a “no deal” Brexit, Sontay will ship all EU shipments via DHL ‘DDP’ – Delivered Duty Paid and we will pay these charges.  We envisage that this will be needed in the short term but in the long term a deal will be put in place to alieve this need.
  • At Sontay, we have recruited additional staff in our Internal Sales department to support the extra administration and be liaison with DHL over all EU shipments.  They will monitor their progress and ensure the process is running smoothly.  Their role will also include communication with customers on the progress of their shipment.
  • Sontay staff are currently undertaking additional Customs training to be able to fully understand and manage any issues that come up.
  • Additional stocks of components and products have been built up to be able to negate any delays with shipments coming into us.
We very much value our relationships with EU customers and hope that our plan will alleviate any concerns over continuity of supply no matter what the outcome.  Of course, we understand there may be many questions relating to this and we are open to any discussion with our customers on this topic.