The negotiations on a trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom have once again reached an impasse. Friday night, EU negotiator Barnier and his British counterpart took a break, after which negotiations continued on Sunday. The conditions for a trade agreement were ‘not met’. There remain major differences in agreements on fair competition, control of those agreements and EU fishermen’s access to British waters.
The current transitional period shall apply until 31 December 2020. During this period, the way online purchases are made in a British webshop remains the same.
If there is no new trade agreement on 1 January 2021, the rules will change. Ordering in a British webshop will be the same as ordering something outside the EU, as in the United States or China. In that case, consumers in the Netherlands will have to pay VAT on products that cost EUR 22 or more. Consumers must also pay customs duties if the purchase value exceeds 150 euros.
For Dutch consumers, a no deal probably doesn’t have that much impact. Many years ago it was still attractive to order books from the British Amazon, now everything is available through other channels.
It is becoming more complicated for Dutch e-commerce companies that also sell services or products in the UK.
Thuiswinkel.org recommended its members to start from the worst and prepare for a future in which the United Kingdom is no longer in the customs union. In the latter case, doing business with the UK is comparable to doing business in Australia, a ‘third country’.
Research by SMEs-the Netherlands and VNO-NCW shows that one third of respondents indicate that they will wait until an agreement has been reached. The organisations call on entrepreneurs to talk to suppliers and customers and to provide a customs number. Entrepreneurs can also do the Brexit Impact Scan and hulpbijbrexit.nl consult.
The survey also shows that only 5% believe that the EU and the UK will come up with a broad deal. 23% expect a limited agreement and 26% believe that there will be no agreement at all.
Waiting times at the border May, for example, become longer. So it could just be, warned Thuiswinkel.org, that you can no longer deliver your products within 24 hours.
The product requirements can also change after the Brexit. For example, the general and specific EU product requirements, such as CE marketing, may no longer apply in the UK after the Brexit.
Payments to and from the UK may be slower and at higher rates, as many European rules are no longer valid for these payments.
Web stores can no longer use a payment agency with a UK licence alone to settle payments. Trade costs for exporting and importing goods to the UK will increase due to import tariffs, border controls and customs procedures.