Posts

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.

 

Hurricane announced as finalist in Postal Innovation Awards 2021

Hurricane are delighted to have been selected as one of the 3 finalists in this years Postal Innovation Awards in the ‘eCommerce, Retail & Cross-Border’ category.

The awards are hosted by the Postal Innovation Platform and are set to be held on 12th October in Vienna, Austria.

Hurricane made it through a live panel of judges where CEO Martyn Noble gave a 4-minute pitch followed by a 4-minute Q&A.

Martyn’s pitch can be seen in the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qENaAdq4yXc

The Hurricane solutions that were presented to the judges focus on simplifying the complex in an industry that is constantly evolving under new regulations.

As well as this they look to provide commercial and environmental impacts by providing real-time data that prevent poor customer experiences and reduce returns.

Our solutions provide accurate data and compliance screenings ensuring businesses can stay on top of the new regulations that demand complete and digitized data.

For more information on the awards, click here: https://www.postal-innovation.com/StartupAward2021

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.

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

Hurricane Tamebay Webinar

Hurricane Commerce signs up for Tamebay Live Show

We are delighted to be a main sponsor and speaker at the first ever Tamebay Live.

The 5-day virtual event in May is set to be a great new addition to the calendar for retailers, brands, marketplaces and anyone else involved in the fast growing world of eCommerce.

More than 30 workshops and a host of masterclasses have been lined up from May 17-21 with each day having its own theme.

Hurricane is the headline sponsor and co-host for Day 1, called ‘Back to Basics’, and will then be a speaker on Day 4, which is all about Cross-Border selling.

Martyn Noble, Hurricane’s CEO, said: “Tamebay have come up with an innovative and hugely timely event that will give retailers, brands and others involved in eCommerce plenty of food for thought and inspiration.

“We are thrilled to be playing a leading part and, particularly, look forward to sharing knowledge and ideas that will help anyone looking to grow their sales internationally.

For more information about Tamebay Live and to register to attend visit https://tamebaylive.com/

Please also keep an eye on the Hurricane website and LinkedIn for further details as we run up to this hugely exciting conference.

The path to successful cross-border eCommerce – What’s the opportunity and how can you get a piece of it?

Cross-border eCommerce is becoming more accessible to businesses, ranging from small scale independent stores to multinational giants.

Facilitating this surge in cross-border eCommerce are platforms like Magento® an Adobe company, which accounts for 16% of all eCommerce websites. They include some big names like Coca-Cola and Christian Louboutin.

Platforms like this offer a huge opportunity for a business to create a site and get trading quickly, especially with a host of extensions that allow businesses to manage their stock, create labels and provide a better customer experience. Magento alone has over 250,000 sites and saw an increase of 7,500 in 2019, covering a total of $155 billion in total merchant sales.

Risk and reward

With 57% of all online shoppers buying cross-border, the prize associated with using an eCommerce platform is large. This does however also expose your business to the risks associated with cross-border eCommerce, such as parcels being seized by customs due to poor data, or customers being charged extra upon delivery due to import duties and taxes not being paid.

These situations can lead to a negative customer experience which can result in customers making a one-time purchase then shopping elsewhere. With businesses able to earn 50% more revenue if 40% of their customers are returning, it is important to understand the issues surrounding cross-border eCommerce and ensure your business is prepared.

The Hurricane solution

Hurricane has developed a suite of solutions that allows businesses to show their customers the total cost of any purchase inclusive of shipping, import fees and any extra costs, as well as screening for denied parties and prohibited and restricted goods to ensure total compliance.

Hurricane has become a Technology Partner with Magento, one of the leading eCommerce platforms and will give their customer base the cost-effective and user-friendly tools needed to successfully trade cross-border and reduce the risk of fines and negative customer experiences.

With customer experience becoming the main differentiator between brands, surpassing pricing and the products, providing a positive experience is crucial.

Hurricane’s cross-border solutions will provide businesses with an engine for growth by improving the customer experience from the first site visit, all the way to the delivery, thus increasing the likelihood of them making repeat purchases, and making businesses fully compliant with customs and import regulations.

Prime Vision teams up with Hurricane Commerce to provide complete cross-border data solution

Prime Vision is partnering with Hurricane Commerce to provide customers with a complete end-to-end data enhancement service on cross-border eCommerce parcels and packets.

New regulations and laws are providing huge challenges to any business involved in international eCommerce.

And the biggest requirement is for quality data on parcels including complete and valid product descriptions and HS6 codes.

The partnership between Prime Vision and Hurricane will see the integration of their respective technologies, providing customers with a high-quality service that meets the growing requirements of customs authorities for enhanced data.

Prime Vision is a market leader in Computer Vision Integration in the global logistics sector for postal, parcel, eCommerce and airports.

The company’s solutions include sorting decision systems, OCR, barcode reading, video-coding and robotics.

Hurricane’s technology includes its Zephyr data enhancement tool and its Aura solution which covers the three critical cross-border areas of duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.

David Spottiswood, Co-founder of Hurricane, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Prime Vision and to be able to make our data enhancement software available to its customers.

“The regulatory landscape for anyone involved in cross-border eCommerce trade is changing dramatically.

“This started with Brexit in January, but since March 15, postal operators and their customers have also had to deal with the enforcement of the US STOP Act and the EU’s ICS2. Further major change comes in July with the introduction of the EU’s VAT reforms.

“All of these changes have one common denominator – the need for data of the highest calibre including accurate product descriptions, HS6 codes and country of origin.

Dirk Van Lammeren, Prime Vision’s Commercial Director, said: “We are excited to have teamed up with Hurricane Commerce to offer customers end-to-end data enhancement solutions.

“Postal operators, carriers and retailers are having to adapt quickly to the changing regulations to ensure they are compliant.

“Hurricane’s and Prime Vision’s solutions reinforce each other and together we will enable our customers to achieve frictionless cross-border eCommerce.”

 

Hurricane in the media:

Post & Parcel – Prime Vision and Hurricane Commerce team up to meet the demand for high calibre data

Air Cargo Week – Hurricane Commerce teams up with Prime Vision

Tamebay – Complete cross-border data solution from Prime Vision & Hurricane Commerce

Parcel and Postal Technology International – Prime Vision partners with Hurricane Commerce to provide complete cross-border data solution

Apex Insight – Prime Vision and Hurricane Commerce in partnership

CEP Research – Prime Vision integrates Hurricane Commerce cross-border data solutions