The UK’s departure from the EU heralds the biggest change to the customs landscape in a generation. Many businesses that have previously not needed to know about importing, exporting and tariffs now need to be a specialist in international trade – or use a global supply chain expert – to deploy successfully across borders.

Brexit has brought the complexities of international trade into sharp focus – and not just in Europe. When you’re implementing global or multi-country deployments, the smooth transition of goods couldn’t be more important. Goods not only need to arrive, they must arrive without delay, with the right amount of duty paid and with the correct completion and filing of appropriate licences and import and export declarations.

Existing supply chains may not be equipped to ensure post-Brexit compliance, and, with the spotlight on corporate governance, it’s more important than ever to have a partner that knows the process inside out.

It’s not as easy as Amazon

The ease of business with online retailers such as Amazon in our home life has given many businesses the misconception that exporting goods is as easy as booking a courier and handing the goods over.

There are many processes around importation that create complexity. If you have ever received goods from overseas via the post, you may have also been surprised by a notice to pay outstanding duties and taxes. This is a simple example of importing goods badly. When you start shipping products that have dual-use capabilities, high technology content or encryption, the implications of getting the processes wrong can be much more severe

These products require certain controls to prevent them being used in an inappropriate manner, ending up with the wrong people or recording its use for certain industries such as the military to ensure the safety of people and data.

Express doesn’t mean quickest

Many customers mistakenly believe that express services are easy and okay to use. They are cheaper and easier for a reason: goods are bulk cleared and specific import and export controls are not necessarily followed. By not declaring them with the correct licences and processes, partners expose themselves to the risk of long delays, withheld goods, potential destruction or confiscation of products, ‘black marks’ on their records or even fines and convictions.

As such, we only use authorised freight forwarders who can manage the specific processes at an individual shipment level and ensure compliance to protect all parties in the transaction. Our best customers are the ones who tried it themselves and failed.

How to be prepared

Westcon-Comstor is a full-service supply-chain and logistics provider that offers local and export models, international and last-mile transportation, and customs clearance and warehousing/distribution services worldwide. Our team of international trade experts can help you choose the best option for your project to keep costs, delivery times and risk to a minimum. Contact your local account manager and vendor contacts, and we’ll do the rest.

Watch our video to see the benefits and risks of the export and local models.