Exporting after Brexit
In simple terms
Exporting after Brexit: SMEs can remain in EU
Leaving the customs union (and possibly the single market) will make exporting substantially more expensive, time consuming and difficult. But you can effectively and legally stay within the EU – even after Brexit. And no worries; this solution is probably easier, faster to implement and more affordable than you think. In fact, it will most likely even save you money.
Say, you export goods or services to the 27 EU countries and their 80 partner trading nations. Once Britain has left the EU the following will change:
Tariffs: You will most certainly have to pay tariffs, ranging from little taxes on only a few products/services to heavy taxes on everything.
Administration: The amount of paperwork involved to get goods out of the country will increase almost exponentially. Detailed forms need to be filled in and comprehensive documentation has to be provided (e.g. certificates of the origin of your goods and their component parts/ingredients).
Customs clearances: Another aspect to consider are backlogs at the customs. This will cause problems for freight traffic that depends on fast deliveries, e.g. for fresh produce or just-in-time goods.
The remedy: Bypassing trade barriers
The concept of bypassing trade barriers is more than 100 years old, albeit not really feasible for SMEs due to their limited resources – at least up until now. Today you can easily establish and run your own European legal entity from the UK (or anywhere on the planet), which means you can continue trading as a EU company.
Export via your EU company
Look for service providers who can establish and host a legal entity, i.e. a EU limited company, for you. With regards to location the Netherlands and Germany offer many advantages, especially for British businesses. English is widely spoken and they provide a high degree of legal security. You will find professional service partners, you will benefit from a good infrastructure, and it is comparatively economical and easy to get there.
When choosing a service partner make sure they can provide as much as possible out of one hand; founding your EU company, supplying a business base (e.g. virtual offices ), maybe logistics and fulfilment for goods distribution including customer services, lawyers, accountants, translators, web designers etc. Make sure everything is handled in English, from legal documents to day-to-day communication.
If you would like to know how remaining in the EU works in detail, simply read about ‘How to establish a EU company ‘. For more information check www.tradewitheurope.com or give us a call for a free consultation.
Marcus Broix, Trade with Europe Ltd