Cross-border eCommerce retailers need to prepare for EU border checks from January 1

Cross-border eCommerce retailers need to prepare for EU border checks from January 1

Cross-border eCommerce retailers in the UK have been warned that full border checks will be imposed on any goods entering the EU from January 1 next year.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator, told a House of Lords Committee that Brussels will not agree to any delay despite the UK pledging not to introduce full border checks on EU goods until July 2021.

With just six months to go, the pressures will now ramp up on UK-based and EU e-retailers to ensure they have the right systems in place to combat the potential fallout from the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

One of the biggest requirements will be to ensure that goods being sent into the EU and to the UK have the right data sets including accurate HS6 codes and product descriptions.

Without them, the fear is that importing ports will not have the capacity to process information with the likelihood of lengthy delays in goods clearing customs.

eCommerce brands also face greater scrutiny to ensure that goods are not being sent to denied parties – individuals or organisations on banned lists – or shipping goods that are prohibited or restricted in certain countries.

E-retailers will also need to ensure they have the best possible landed cost engine to ensure they are providing their customers with the right duty and tax calculations.

A growing number of leading eCommerce brands are providing their customers with a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) service, in which they take responsibility for paying duties and taxes that are due, increasing cost transparency and customer satisfaction.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “Brexit is just one major part of a changing geopolitical landscape that is requiring anyone involved in cross-border eCommerce to provide accurate data and become more compliant.

“Other factors include the US-China trade war, changes in VAT regulations and advanced electronic data capture.

“It is creating cross-border trade uncertainty and complexity, after decades of perceived stability resulting in far-reaching changes to the legislative and regulatory environment and the associated compliant shipping procedures.

“Compliance is never optional. It is like a tax; any brand wanting to compete in the fast-paced world of eCommerce is required to fulfil their obligations and demonstrate they are equipped to operate in accordance with the law and the regulations.”

Hurricane Commerce is increasingly the data partner of choice for organisations involved in cross-border eCommerce. Its solutions cover the areas of data enhancement, duty and tax calculations, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied party screening.

Hurricane’s solutions include its deep-learning Bluestone AI that drives its auto-classification function; its Aura API that covers Duty and Tax Calculations, Prohibited and Restricted Goods Screening and Denied Party Screening; and its Zephyr bulk clearance API which enables the efficient checking and completion of cross-border shipment pre-advices submitted to postal authorities by their customers.

Hurricane’s customers include postal authorities, eCommerce platforms, eCommerce retailers, carriers, logistics specialists and other software providers across the globe.

The company consists of experts with senior backgrounds in logistics, compliance and classification and technology. It operates from offices in the UK, US, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

NOTES TO EDITORS