Posted by: Helen Gruschow, Manager, International Household Goods
Unless a withdrawal agreement is passed by the UK government and agreed to with the European Union (EU), the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October without a deal. This outcome may result in delays to household goods shipments and increasing relocation costs.
If the UK does leave on 31 October, then organisations and their relocating assignees should expect delays to household goods shipments coming into the UK. Authorities have warned that common trade routes such as the Dover-Calais channel crossing is expected to experience delays for customs. To set expectations, assignees should be made aware of this before their assignment begins and if delays are significant, then organisations should consider furniture rental options.
Costs for relocation out of and into the UK from the EU will mostly increase, when considering the expense of visas, residency cards, permits and other bureaucratic obligations. These additional costs should be built into relocation budgets going forward.
As we don’t yet know how the UK will leave the EU, whether it will be with or without a deal, we are working closely with our dedicated network of suppliers to ensure that we’re prepared for every scenario. Our UK suppliers are currently applying for EORI permits. An EORI number is required to move goods in or out of the UK, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Some suppliers have also opened offices in EU countries as a fail-safe. Our non-UK suppliers have prepared by limiting their UK partners to only those that have EORI registrations. Without an EORI permit, suppliers may be subject to increased costs and delays, which will impact organisations and their relocating employees.
We know that many of the organisations we work with have already started to prepare for Brexit, but for those HR and Relocation Managers that haven’t, our recent blog, Brexit: Are You Ready? includes best practice recommendations for how to begin.
The post-Brexit political and economic landscape is still very much open to speculation. Depending on what the final agreement is between the UK and the EU, we are likely to see companies adopt different approaches to maintain and grow their presence in EU markets. Avoid the ‘wait and see’ approach, and create a contingency plan that’s flexible enough to amend should you need to negotiate any new hurdles along the way, and above all, expect the unexpected!
As the market leader in relocation services, Cartus will continue to monitor Brexit as it evolves. In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact your Cartus representative or email: email@example.com.