Brexit explained | How will Brexit affect the relocation industry?

In June 2016, the British people were given the opportunity by David Cameron’s Government to vote in a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or whether the UK should leave.

It is now 47 years since the UK first became a member of the Union, but following the decision of the British people in that 2016 referendum, the UK will now leave the EU on 31 January 2020. The UK will become the first member state to do so.

The default legal position is that the UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020 — either under the terms of the negotiated divorce deal if it is ratified (the Withdrawal Agreement), or without an agreement if that does not happen, which is now highly unlikely.

With less than two weeks to go before the UK formally leaves the EU, a deal between the UK & EU has still to be formally agreed. However, following the Conservative’s emphatic victory in the recent UK General Election, the UK’s House of Commons voted on 20 December 2019 to pass the Brexit bill — finally paving way for the UK’s January 31 departure from the European Union after years of political deadlock.

On 9 January 2020, MPs gave their final backing to the bill that will implement the UK Government’s Brexit deal. This latest vote gives approval to an 11-month transition period – also known as an “implementation period” – after 31 January 2020, in which the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow its rules and contribute to its budget.

The passing of the bill through UK parliament and the now highly likely transition period which will follow, will be good news for us here at Elite Moving Systems Ltd, as well as our clients and the relocation industry as a whole. The purpose of the transition period is to give time for the UK and EU to negotiate their future relationship, including a trade deal and customs arrangements. 

This transition period would help avoid any sudden overnight changes to customs requirements, i.e. more vigorous checks being carried out and more documents required by customs officials at UK and French ports, plus, potential additional delays at the ports would be avoided (for now at least).

After the Withdrawal Agreement (WAB) becomes law in the UK, the WAB also needs to be ratified by the European Parliament. The stage will then be set for Brexit on 31 January 2020, when the post-Brexit transition period will begin.

The import/export relationship between the UK and non-EU countries will not change following Brexit.

 

What does a transition period mean for the relocation industry? 

If the Withdrawl Agreement between the UK and the EU is ratified, the UK will become a non-EU country (a third country) and will withdraw from the EU on 31 January 2020. The free movement of goods between the UK and the EU will continue during the proposed transition period, which will run until 31 December 2020.

During the transition period, the UK will be considered an EU country for the purposes of customs clearance. The free movement of goods between the EU and the UK will continue until the end of the transition period.

The obligation for customs clearance of goods moving between the UK and the EU will begin when the transition period is over.

The UK will therefore remain part of the Single Market and the EU Customs Union during any transition period. 

 

What would happen in the event of a No-Deal Brexit (which is now highly unlikely)?

If the transition period is implemented, No-Deal will be off the table and the UK will still benefit from the current agreement on the free movement of goods between EU countries. This means that for goods imported into the UK from another EU member state, duty-free entry of goods will still happen (apart from goods currently exempt from duty-free entry) and customs clearance procedures will remain the same as they are now.

In the event of a No-Deal outcome, the UK Government’s recent “Yellowhammer Report” advised of an additional time-scale for “delays” on shipments coming into and going out of the UK. This is in line with what we have also advised our customers, which is an additional 2 – 4 days on top of normal transit times currently in place.

With regard to the transportation of goods, it is possible that removal firms will need to custom clear goods, provide a commercial invoice and pay import duties.

The introduction of border checks between the UK and the EU could happen overnight and as the Government has already recognised, customs is a cliff-edge issue. On the day of the UK’s exit from the EU in the event of a No-Deal, the UK authorities will need to perform new functions and will face disruption at the border. There will be new document checks and fiscal requirements.

The introduction at UK customs of ToR (Transfer of Residence) for shipments coming to the UK from the EU by road, would almost certainly mean a delay in the shipper receiving their goods, as the transit time would be longer. Shipments would be held at French and UK road ports for longer, as more checks would have to take place – in particular, at the road ports of Dover, Folkestone and Ramsgate in the UK and at Calais and Le Harve in France.

As more vigorous checks will be needed and there will be more scrutiny on shipments to/from the UK/EU, this will mean delays. We do know that more staff have already been recruited at road ports in both the UK and in France.

Crews will be in Europe for longer than before, so the costs of a move may be greater as cost elements such as labour and vehicles are likely to increase. Those costs would have to be factored into the cost-planning of moves to and from the UK/EU in the event of a No-Deal outcome.

 

What is an EORI Number?

Either from 1 February 2020, or at the end of any transition period, it will be a requirement for any businesses transporting goods across Europe to have an EORI number. We already have our own EORI Number at Elite Moving Systems Ltd which starts with the letters GB.

An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is a unique customs ID for businesses.  An EORI number issued by the UK will start with GB, followed by 12 digits. It will include the business’s VAT registration number if they are registered for VAT.

An EORI number from the EU starts with different letters depending on the country that issued it – for example, one issued in France will start with FR.

 

Conclusion

As of 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom will be a Member State of the European Union for the last day. From 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom will no longer be a Member State of the European Union. A transition period is likely to commence and will extend until 31 December 2020 when further information regarding the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be known.

EMS’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) company policy at EMS outlines our efforts to give back to the world as it gives to us.

Our company’s existence is not lonely and is part of a bigger system of people, values, other organizations and nature. The social responsibility of a business is to give back to the world just as it gives to us and here at EMS, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously.

Supporting the Local Community

We support our local community through our sponsorship of Boreham Wood Football Club who play football in the National League, which is the fifth tier of English football.

On 30th November 2019, EMS were proudly asked to be the “official” match sponsor of the match between Boreham Wood FC & Woking FC. 

On the sponsorship deal between EMS and Boreham Wood FC, Mandee Morris, Commercial Manager of Boreham Wood FC said, “We are delighted to welcome Elite Moving Systems Ltd as a sponsor of Boreham Wood FC.  EMS are a well-known and highly reputable International Moving Company and for them to get behind us and sponsor a non-league football club really helps the club to develop its facilities and offer a better match day experience for our spectators.  We recently welcomed CEO and Owner of EMS, Ronan Woodhouse and his guests to Meadow Park, where EMS were sponsors of our fixture against Woking FC. We hope they enjoyed themselves and will be back at Meadow Park again in the not too distant future.”


This photo is taken from the recent match between Boreham Wood FC and Woking FC where EMS were the proud match sponsor.  EMS signage can be seen on the hoardings around the ground. I am happy to report that Boreham Wood FC won the match 1-0!! 😊


Donations to Charitable Organisations

Another example of EMS’ proactive corporate social responsibility is through the regular donations we make to charitable organizations.  EMS preserves a separate budget so we can make monetary donations to charities. Any donations are made with the aim of helping those in need and helping those who are less fortunate.

EMS also does a lot of great work for charity.  BGRS invited us to support their charitable partner, Save The Children in celebrating their centennial year by donating to help all children around the globe reach new horizons.  Save the Children is a global humanitarian organization that fixates their fundraising efforts on helping children overcome poverty, providing emergency relief, and advocating for vulnerable children.  This year, EMS were also named as BGRS’ highest donor, as we made a generous contribution of $5,000 to their Save the Children fund.

We have also sponsored the charity Together We Rise (a charity helping children in foster care) for the past three years through our partnership with BGRS.  In 2018 EMS proudly won BGRS’ Fundraising Initiative award due to the Move for Hunger campaign in which they were also involved in.

Here at EMS, we also hold regular MacMillan Coffee Mornings in our London office and we recently raised £235 for the cancer support charity, when cakes (which were all made by members of our team) and coffee were sold to members of EMS staff – all in the name of charity.

This photo was taken when the team EMS held their most recent MacMillan Coffee Morning


Ronan said, “It’s a great honour and privilege for EMS to be recognised as the top sponsor and contributor for BGRS’s “Move for Hunger” campaign.  Sponsoring campaigns and charities on a regular basis, in the knowledge that we are helping to improve the lives of others, is an extremely fulfilling experience for everyone here at EMS and is something we will continue to do in the months and years ahead”.

Christian Peck joins the EMS team

Elite Moving Systems Ltd (EMS) are delighted to announce the appointment of Christian Peck, who has joined our team this week as Sales Manager.

With over 20 years’ experience within the International Moving sector, Christian has held roles in sales, business development, account management, surveying, operations and logistics.

Nick Stevens, General Manager at EMS, said, “We are very excited at the prospect of working with Christian during this exciting new chapter at EMS”.

As Sales Manager, Christian will work closely with the EMS Senior Management team and will be responsible for business development activity, including both existing and new client relationships.

Christian will also be the reporting line for all our surveyors and therefore performance manage surveys and quality control activity.

Christian is a dedicated father of two, avid level 1 and 2 qualified football coach, lover of antiques, travel and classic cars.

Christian said, “To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I can’t wait to get stuck in and am looking forward to working with the specialist teams here at EMS and becoming an integral part of EMS’ continued growth and customer dedication.”

Everyone at EMS is delighted to welcome Christian on board and wish him well in his new role.