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Delegates take part in 2nd UK & China Cross-Border eCommerce Forum

Hurricane was delighted to take part in the Second UK and China Cross-Border eCommerce Forum which was held at the Peking University Business School in Oxford.

Our CEO Martyn Noble was among the keynote speakers during the day which was entitled ‘Post-lockdown challenges and opportunities for global cross-border eCommerce’.

The event was a mix of in-person and virtual with over 150 delegates taking part, including representatives from government and some of the biggest names in global logistics and online retail.

China’s cross-border eCommerce imports and exports reached 419.5 billion yuan ($65.57 billion) in the first quarter of this year – up 46.5 percent year-on-year and shows no sign of slowing down.

But increasing regulation including the US STOP Act and the EU’s recently launched VAT Package and Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) mean that the need for complete and valid data on shipments has never been greater.

Through our strategic partnership with ELI Holdings, Hurricane is helping some of the biggest Chinese logistics and ecommerce players to integrate best-in-class data provision into their global operations.

Hosts for the Oxford event were the China Europe eCommerce and Logistics Club (CEELC) and the UK & China Chamber of eCommerce (UCCE).

Among those taking part in the Oxford event were JD.com, Yodel, and The Very Group.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “It was an extremely professional event and built upon the success of the launch event last year.

“While there are significant opportunities for logistics and eCommerce companies to grow their cross-border operations, there is also a growing recognition of the importance of having best-in-class data to meet the regulatory challenges.

“We are hearing of more and more cases of shipments being held by customs authorities around the world because of the poor quality of consignment data.

“Businesses which have the highest levels of data provision are the ones which will have a competitive edge over their rivals and therefore will be best placed to reap the biggest rewards in the global eCommerce space.”

June

 

Today’s the Day: End of the EU VAT de minimis and the launch of the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS)

Today (July 1) marks the latest major change affecting the complex world of cross-border eCommerce.

It sees the removal of the de minimis value whereby no VAT is paid on goods of a value of up to €22, making all imports subject to European Union VAT rates.

The VAT amount applicable is subject to the local VAT rate of the customer’s delivery country (destination country). The exemption from customs duties on imported goods below €150 will remain in place and will only be applicable on goods with an intrinsic value of more than €150.

To assist third country online retailers and marketplaces, the EU is simultaneously launching the Import One-Stop Shop – or IOSS for short.

The application of the IOSS portal is intended to facilitate a simplified process for the declaration and payment of VAT from either the EU or a non-EU country.

The message is simple – those who are best prepared will be the ones in pole position to secure and grow their cross-border eCommerce sales.

To implement the IOSS, businesses will have to register on the IOSS portal of any EU member state. This electronic portal will hold businesses responsible for charging and collecting VAT, meaning the consumer will be charged VAT at the point of purchase, subject to their local VAT rate.

With this in place, it will enable quicker clearance times at border control, leading to efficiency gains and cost savings for businesses. Just as important, it will ensure high levels of consumer satisfaction, avoiding the issue of any doorstep shocks.

If a business is non-EU based, it will have to appoint an EU-established intermediary to fulfil its VAT obligations of collection, payment and declaration of VAT under IOSS. This intermediary, or VAT agent, will represent them with the IOSS portal and will share the responsibilities of the supplier for return submissions of VAT payments under the IOSS scheme.

Once registered on the IOSS portal, a unique IOSS identification number will be assigned to you. This number will need to be put on all packages under €150 sent to the EU. VAT will then need to be calculated and charged to the customer at the point of purchase with the invoice submitted with the package at customs. IOSS returns must be filed on a monthly basis either directly or through the intermediary and a record kept by the business.

EU goods eligible for relief

As the IOSS is not mandatory, if a business chooses to opt out of registering to the online portal, their cross-border operations may face challenges. Since they are not registered, VAT will not be charged or collected at the point of sale, meaning consumers will have to pay this fee at the point of import.

This may lead to delayed clearance of the consumer’s goods and unexpected fees of import VAT or other handling fees being charged.

Faced with these additional charges, consumers may refuse to pay to have their goods released from customs resulting in an unpleasant and unsatisfactory experience for the consumer and a potential loss to the business. It will also make the consumer less likely to return to the online seller in the future.

The changes to EU VAT are primarily about creating a level playing field and fair competition between EU and non-EU eCommerce players. Major cross-border trading countries such as China, the US and the UK will be among those most impacted by the changes.

Hurricane has been working closely with its customers, including postal operators, carriers, retailers and marketplaces, enabling them to be ready for July 1.

The provision of complete and valid product and shipment data is essential in order to make use of the IOSS and to take advantage of the simplified process that the new portal allows.

But while many businesses have undoubtedly put in place robust processes and systems to meet the new requirements, many others will be playing catch-up over the coming weeks and months as they come to realise the disadvantages of not being prepared.

 

Emirates Post picks Hurricane Commerce as data partner to drive global eCommerce growth

Emirates Post has chosen Hurricane Commerce as the data partner to support its global eCommerce expansion strategy.

The postal operator for the UAE has invested heavily in its international parcels business with the ambition of becoming a seamless gateway and strategic logistics hub for cross-border eCommerce traffic.

Hurricane will be supporting Emirates Post across various parts of its business, but with a major focus on providing best-in-class data solutions for its International Business Unit.

Emirates Post’s objective is to develop a global B2C parcel business leveraging the UAE as a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hub.

The partnership with Hurricane also fits with Emirates Post’s ongoing investment in digitization across all of its systems and processes to ensure the best possible customer experience.

Hurricane’s Zephyr solution ensures that shipments have the right data – including HS6 codes, product descriptions and 8- and 10- digit import and export codes – to pass smoothly through customs and on to the end consumer.

Meanwhile, Hurricane’s Aura product covers the three critical cross-border areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

Major regulatory challenges including the US STOP Act and, from July 1, the EU VAT Package and introduction of the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) mean that the requirement for complete and valid parcel data has never been greater.

Peter Somers, CEO of Emirates Post, said: “The expansion of our international eCommerce parcels business is one of our top priorities and to achieve this requires working with best-in-class partners.

“We were impressed by the experience and knowledge of the Hurricane team and the quality of the data solutions they have developed.

“The partnership with Hurricane represents an important part of our cross-border eCommerce growth strategy.”

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Emirates Post as its data partner.

“The team at Emirates Post are innovators in the Middle East and have exciting plans to become the region’s global eCommerce hub.”

David Spottiswood, Co-Founder of Hurricane Commerce, said: “Emirates Post recognises the importance of harnessing data solutions not only as a means of ensuring seamless cross-border trade, but also to provide its customers with the best possible experience.

“In a world of ever-increasing rules and regulations governing global eCommerce trade, such an approach has never been more important.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

Post and Parcel – New partnership supports efforts in enhancing UAE’s position as a global logistics hub

Air Cargo Week – Emirates Post picks Hurricane to drive global e-Commerce plans

Transport & Logistics Middle East – Emirates Post Picks Hurricane Commerce as Data Partner

The new cross-border eCommerce reality

Hurricane co-founders Martyn Noble and David Spottiswood teamed up for their latest Postal Hub Podcast with Ian Kerr.

They reflect on the impact to date of major regulatory changes including Brexit and the US STOP Act and look ahead to the likely impact of the EU VAT Package & IOSS coming on July 1.

The posts and carriers which harness the best cross-border data solutions are the ones which will prosper in the world of global eCommerce.

To listen to the podcast, click here: http://www.thepostalhub.com/podcasts/episode-241-cross-border-ecommerce-brexit-ics2-stop-act-hurricane

SEKO selects Hurricane as global cross-border data partner

Two of the fastest growing cross-border eCommerce brands in the world have joined forces to help their customers achieve frictionless trade and manage critical events including the US STOP Act and the launch next month of the EU’s Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS).

SEKO Logistics, the global freight forwarder, 3PL and supply chain management specialist with a growing focus on eCommerce solutions, has selected Hurricane Commerce as its global cross-border data partner.

Hurricane’s technology will be available via SEKO’s Omni-Parcel platform which provides brand owners, retailers and e-tailers with a global eCommerce solution.

The company’s solutions will also be rolled out through SEKO’s Transport Management System (TMS) and Warehouse Management System (WMS) portals.

SEKO has previously been using Hurricane’s solutions for eCommerce customers in Australia and the United States.

David Emerson, Senior Vice-President eCommerce Solutions at SEKO Logistics, said: “We are delighted to have chosen Hurricane as our global partner for the provision of cross-border data. We pride ourselves on only working with the best-in-class and Hurricane’s solutions are truly world-leading in the field of data provision.

“In today’s global eCommerce, nothing moves without the right data.

“Increasing rules and regulations mean that shipments have to have accurate data sets otherwise they are going to run into severe problems.

“For SEKO, it is an imperative that we keep our customers’ goods moving and Hurricane is a key partner in enabling us to achieve this.”

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “SEKO sets the standard in cross-border eCommerce logistics and supply chain management and we are delighted to have signed this global partnership agreement.

“The fast-moving regulatory landscape means that complete and valid data is non-negotiable in international eCommerce. Events like Brexit, the US STOP Act and, from July 1, the EU VAT Package and the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) are having a massive impact on the requirements to succeed in cross-border eCommerce.”

David Spottiswood, Co-Founder of Hurricane Commerce, said: “Failure to meet the mandatory requirement for high quality data including product descriptions, HS6 codes, 8- and 10- digit import and export codes and country of origin, is resulting in parcels increasingly being stopped by customs.

“This leads to huge additional logistical and cost challenges around returns, warehousing and transportation. But just as important is the long-term damage done to the brand reputation of retailers, marketplaces and their supply chain partners.”

Hurricane’s solutions include Aura, covering the critical cross-border areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening, and Zephyr, its blisteringly quick data bulk clearance data enhancement tool.

EU VAT changes and the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS): An opportunity for growth

It is now exactly a month until the EU VAT Package and the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) come into effect.

July 1 is the next major milestone for businesses committed to growing their cross-border eCommerce operations.

Events including Brexit and the US STOP Act have already highlighted this year the importance of having the highest quality product and shipment data in order to achieve the smoothest possible delivery and customer experience.

For third country online retailers and marketplaces selling into the EU, the looming EU VAT Package will further intensify this requirement. For global leaders in international eCommerce like China and the UK, these are quite simply the most significant event in their calendar in 2021.

From July 1, the EU will remove the exemption from VAT on low value goods with a value of less than EURO 22.

The EU is also making third country online retailers and marketplaces responsible for the collection and remittance of VAT.

To support retailers and marketplaces, the EU has created the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) with the intention of simplifying the declaration and payment of VAT on distance sales with an intrinsic value of less than EURO 150.

These are substantial changes and are intended to level the playing field between EU retailers and marketplaces and their counterparts in other parts of the world, most notably China.

It is also intended to have the same impact on postal operators and express carriers.

Any marketplaces uncertain about whether to opt into the IOSS should note the decision of Amazon to embrace the new system for both its retail activities and marketplace businesses. Several other major marketplaces are believed to be actively moving in the same direction.

Hurricane Commerce has produced a guide to the EU VAT Package and the IOSS to help retailers, marketplaces and their logistics partners to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new rules.

Hurricane is also one of Royal Mail’s partners in providing support to its customers with the IOSS – https://www.royalmail.com/business/international/guide/delivered-duties-paid

Among the key things you need to know are:

  • The retailer or marketplace (or their chosen intermediary) only needs to register on the IOSS portal of one EU member state. Registration opened on April 1, 2021;
  • IOSS makes the buying process easier for the consumer with VAT being paid at the point of purchase – thereby avoiding doorstep surprises when goods are delivered;
  • If the seller does not use the IOSS, the consumer will have to pay VAT at the point of import – with resulting delays in clearance and delivery and greater likelihood of returns;
  • The use of the IOSS will result in much greater efficiency gains;
  • Electronic customs clearance also requires only the so called Super Reduced Dataset, resulting in faster clearance, shorter transit times and reduced costs.

Online retailers or marketplaces which do not have a presence in the EU will need to appoint an intermediary in at least one EU member state.

The intermediary will be responsible for the declaration and payment of VAT to the tax authorities of the member state on the basis of a monthly IOSS VAT return.

They are also responsible for keeping records that have to be made available electronically upon request.

Of critical importance is the need for the retailer or marketplace to be able to provide complete and valid electronic data for customs clearance.

If using the IOSS, this will mean complying with the requirements of the Super Reduced Dataset, including accurate product descriptions and HS6 codes.

Various attempts to delay the introduction of the IOSS have been firmly rejected – no surprise as we emerge from the pandemic with governments around the world under huge pressure to maximise their tax revenues.

But while preparation is needed to be able to access the IOSS, it should be seen as a big opportunity to secure substantial cross-border eCommerce growth.

By registering and meeting the requirements, particularly around the provision of high-quality product and shipment data, companies will have a significant advantage over their competitors.

This will include faster customs clearance and delivery, greater efficiencies, reduced costs and enhanced customer experience.

To access a copy of Hurricane’s EU VAT and IOSS brochure, email: info@hurricanecommerce.com

https://tamebay.com/2021/06/why-eu-vat-changes-and-ioss-should-be-opportunity-for-growth.html

Hurricane to be Gold Sponsor at WMX Europe

Hurricane Commerce will be a Gold Sponsor at this year’s World Mail & Express Europe Conference.

The prestigious event will be held virtually on June 16 and 17.

WMX Europe is widely recognised as the foremost international trade event for post and parcel professionals.

This year’s conference comes at a critical time for the sector with major EU VAT changes and the introduction of the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) coming into force from July 1.

Postal operators, both receiving and exporting, are busy preparing to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the IOSS, as are many of the biggest marketplaces and online retailers.

The implementation of the IOSS is set to feature prominently in presentations and delegate networking at the event.

So far, over 30 speakers have been confirmed including Hurricane CEO Martyn Noble and co-founder David Spottiswood who will take part in the ‘Optimising Cross-Border’ discussion.

Hurricane will also be a Gold Sponsor at the WMX Asia conference in November.

The events come at an exciting time for Hurricane, which was established four years ago and is increasingly regarded as the data partner of choice for postal operators, carriers, multi-carrier platforms, retailers, brands and marketplaces.

High profile customers include Royal Mail, SEKO, Australia Post, An Post and Lenton Group.

Its cutting-edge technology is also increasingly in demand in China and the wider Asia Pacific region where some of the world’s largest eCommerce players are having to adapt quickly to the onset of the changing global regulatory landscape.

Hurricane’s AI-driven, real-time solutions include Aura, which covers the three key areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening, and Zephyr, the data enhancement service which ensures product and shipment data is of the quality needed to speed up customs clearance and onward delivery.

Hurricane’s Zephyr Bulk Upload solution goes live on Royal Mail website

Royal Mail’s online retailer customers can now access Hurricane’s innovative Zephyr Bulk Upload Portal to enhance their data.

The portal is simple to use allowing merchants to upload their product list file and receive back in lightning quick time accurate HS6 codes and 10-digit import and export codes as required.

The solution has been developed by Hurricane to meet the growing compliance pressures facing online retailers and marketplaces.

Regulatory challenges so far this year have included Brexit and the US STOP Act.

The introduction of the EU VAT Package on July 1 – including the launch of the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) – means that complete and valid product shipment data has never been more essential.

Using the Zephyr portal means:

  • Ensuring your products have complete and accurate data;
  • A cost-effective solution to process thousands of lines of product data;
  • Peace of mind on every cross-border eCommerce shipment;
  • High levels of customer experience.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Royal Mail to provide their retailer customers with our best-in-class bulk upload data enhancement service.”

Royal Mail’s website states: “Zephyr enables established and newer e-retailers to capitalise on the huge opportunities for successful international eCommerce, while also staying compliant.

“It’s currently the only data enhancing solution of its kind available to e-retailers – designed to provide peace of mind for sellers and keep customers happy too – by ensuring they receive their goods without unnecessary delay.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

Tamebay – Hurricane Commerce Zephyr Bulk Upload goes live with Royal Mail

Hurricane Commerce selected as partner for ETrak delivery management system

Hurricane Commerce has been chosen as the landed cost engine partner for ETrak, the delivery management system powered by Parcel Monkey in partnership with The Delivery Group.

ETrak provides cost-effective, tracked delivery solutions for sending packets and parcels worldwide, enabling eCommerce merchants to scale while keeping costs to a minimum.

The recently launched platform has access to a global network of postal and commercial carriers in over 220 countries.

By partnering with Hurricane Commerce, ETrak is able to provide its retailer customers with a Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) solution.

ETrak has integrated Hurricane’s Aura API which allows merchants to calculate duties and taxes on shipments via a landed cost engine. Aura can also screen for prohibited and restricted goods and denied parties.

Providing a DDP solution is becoming increasingly important as retailers, marketplaces, postal operators and carriers face multiple regulatory challenges including Brexit, the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) and the US STOP Act.

The ETrak landed cost engine enables retailers to be fully transparent with consumers at checkout about duties and taxes that are payable – avoiding any doorstep surprises.

Martyn Noble, CEO of Hurricane Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the landed cost engine partner for the ETrak delivery management system.

“Parcel Monkey in partnership with The Delivery Group are committed to providing their customers with the best possible experience which, in turn, will enable their customers to achieve substantial growth in their cross-border eCommerce trade.

“The fast-moving regulatory landscape is providing retailers, marketplaces and carriers with significant challenges, but the international growth opportunities are vast for those who put in place the best possible processes and systems.

“Pivotal to this is the need to ensure that packets and parcels have complete and valid electronic data and that online retailers are able to be transparent with their customers about the duties and taxes that are payable.”

Chris Tayler, Head of ETrak, said: “Our mission at ETrak is to provide simplified international parcel delivery solutions for eCommerce businesses and being able to offer a DDP solution to our customers is essential to this mission.

DDP delivery gives retailers greater flexibility for handling customs duties and taxes and provides a better shopping experience for the end customer, therefore improving customer loyalty and retention.

We selected Hurricane Commerce as our partner because their Aura solution provides a best-in-class landed cost engine to calculate duties and taxes, enabling us to accurately calculate the customs fees on any shipment, regardless of the importing country.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

Post and Parcel Technology International – ETrak partners with Hurricane Commerce to deliver Parcel Monkey solution

CEP Research – ETrak selects Hurricane Commerce solution

Tamebay – ETrak select Hurricane Commerce to power Delivered Duty Paid solution

Apex Insight – ETrak to use Hurricane Commerce for DDP solution

The path to successful cross-border eCommerce – How Hurricane’s solutions can help you successfully trade cross-border.

Cross-border eCommerce can provide any business with the opportunity to expand and open their business up to more markets and customers. Whilst this sounds like a fantastic proposition, there are many issues to contend with when first starting out.

There has recently been a large increase in the amount of regulations and compliance rules that are being introduced and monitored, which are often missed by smaller businesses who may not have any previous experience with customs.

There is a sharp focus on knowing what you are sending, and who you are sending it to.

Unknowingly sending an item into a country that requires a licence or sending goods to a blacklisted customer will end up with a business facing fines, and goods being destroyed.

Hurricane has developed 3 main solutions to help businesses stay compliant, and successfully expand their business into cross-border eCommerce.

They are Import Duty and Tax calculations, Prohibited and Restricted Goods Screening and Denied Party Screening. Below we show what these solutions do, and how they can help your business navigate cross-border eCommerce.

Duty and Tax

Every product has a duty and tax rate applied by individual customs upon importation. Individual countries also have their own deminimis levels, which are the values under which products do not have any duty or taxes applied to them.

It can therefore be difficult to calculate the duty and tax rates applicable in checkout. Hurricane’s duty and tax calculator allows businesses to show their customers the total cost of any purchase, drastically reducing negative customer experiences and customer churn.

Prohibited and Restricted Goods

Each country’s customs have their own rules on what can and can’t be imported, and whether special licences or permissions are required. Having carried out deep analysis of restrictions and requirements for importing, exporting and transporting goods in 154 countries, covering 97% of global GDP, Hurricane provides feedback on prohibited and restricted codes. Hurricane’s screening prevents goods from being wrongly transported or imported, ensuring there are no compliance slip ups.

Denied Party Screening

Denied Party Screening is becoming crucial for any business trading cross-border as punishments become more severe. Hurricane’s screening allows businesses to see if their customers and partners are on any of the global denied parties lists, allowing you to control who you sell your products to.

Compliance is key

Transparency is key to providing a positive customer experience. It is incredibly cost-effective and affordable compared to fines that can be given due to non-compliance.

Hurricane can also be a key selling point for your customers, as they will know that all costs will be paid upfront and transit times will be reduced.

Contact us to find out how Hurricane can help your business navigate the uncertainties of cross-border eCommerce.