Brexit and Naturallythinking, our UK and EU Customers and Suppliers
So far we have avoided any articles on Brexit, trying to keep politics out of what for us is a fun and enjoyable business of providing great natural ingredients, aromatherapy and skincare products. However with the Brexit date getting very close and the uncertainty that still surrounds the UK leaving the EU we understandably have a large number of concerned customers, growers and suppliers both in the UK and EU.
Although we haven’t published any information on Brexit, we have plenty in place to ensure a smooth transition no matter the outcome on March 29 this year. We started our Brexit planning more than a year ago and have worked with DHL, DPD and RoyalMail to ensure our deliveries will be relatively unaffected.
Indeed a large amount of our orders already ship outside of the EU and for this we have automated customs procedures in place that involve electronic invoices and overnight clearance. We often ship parcels that arrive in the US faster than they do in Germany such is the speed and efficiency of the customs clearance procedures of DHL.
Below we outline any possible effects we foresee for our different customer groups and planning we have in place.
UK Customers and Brexit
Delivery should remain unaffected. In terms of ingredients we already hold a large inventory of stock. Over the past 3 years (before Brexit was announced) we have been trying to source more raw ingredients from the UK both for provenance and to cut carbon miles. Indeed we now grow ourselves on the Surrey Hills many extracts and this year will see some of the first harvests of our own essential oils.
We do import some products from the EU, namely packaging and some ingredients. We have a great relationship with both our packaging suppliers and ingredient suppliers. We hope that these relationships are able to continue,
However we have suppliers that we currently use from the US and Asia. We have personally visited all of our suppliers to vet their ethics and quality.
We welcome the news from the UK Government that there will be reduced tariffs in the event of a no deal as this could lead to some cost savings for those goods which we import from outside the EU, as many currently attract tariffs. It will also provide continuity of price for those goods that we currently buy tariff free from inside the EU.
European Customers and Brexit
Our European customers are a very important part of our business and we are lucky to have so many great European Customers. The excellent service and rates offered by DHL and DPD make our products affordable and attractive for our European customers and we have no reason to believe this will change.
Both DHL and DPD have no plans for price rises in the event of a No Deal Brexit other than the normal yearly increases. As we have previously mentioned we already ship throughout the world with both DHL and DPD and the electronic invoice system allows goods to pre-clear whilst in transport. This creates no delay for our customers for clearance. Indeed the possibility of a no-deal Brexit has expedited our clearance plans and improved the service to all our customers throughout the world.
Currently tariffs set by the EU for Beauty Products that come from outside of the EU are 0%, so there should be no additional import duty charged for our products into the EU. Empty packaging may incur a 1 -2% Duty (depending upon material).
Should a no deal Brexit happen, we will change our website to show and charge any applicable duties at checkout, this will allow faster shipping for yourself and remove the need for you to pay duties at a later stage, instead we will prepay the duties for you.
We would envisage that Pound Sterling (GBP) would devalue slightly and thus would make our goods slightly cheaper via the exchange rate to the EU.
For our retail customers we envisage that purchases of goods under 140 Euros will not be subject to the any duties in the event of a No Deal Brexit. In addition purchases under 18 Euros will not be applicable for VAT. We will continue to offer our economy EU postage rate for smaller orders (under £15), that in the event of a No Deal Brexit would make our good considerably cheaper.
European Suppliers and Brexit
Our European Suppliers are very important to us, most of our partnerships have been in place for more than a decade and we have had the pleasure of being with most of you. We regard you as part of the extended Naturallythinking family, from our packaging suppliers to our wonderful growers in Bulgaria.
We will continue to work with our European partners. We have no plans to change anything, the quality, relationship and ethics are the most important thing. Together we have worked on plans post Brexit, whatever that form comes in and we are confident that we have most eventualities covered. Of course there maybe a few teething problems in the immediate months after leaving, but together we believe we have plans to combat these and as previously written we do always hold considerable stocks to weather most situations.
Conclusion on the impacts of Brexit on our Customers, Suppliers and Growers
The next days will probably show us a direction we are going in with Brexit for the first time in a couple of years, and hopefully this clarity will help us all complete our plans for the future.
However, regardless of the outcome we have stocks, procedures and plans in place to ensure continuity of products and service and so are confident of little, if any effect to business with our customers and suppliers as a result of Brexit.
If you do have any particular concerns or questions, then please do get in touch with us, using Brexit in the title of your email and email firstname.lastname@example.org