As the organisation that invented the barcode, we know a lot about the modern global supply chain – without us, it simply wouldn't exist. Many of our members trade across the food and grocery sector, the part of British industry that will be the most affected in the instance of the UK leaving
the European Union (EU) without a trade deal.
It's vital to make sure that your business is ready for a worst-case scenario – think about the following:
Consider warehousing and stockpiling
A lot of storage space has already been bought up in advance of the Christmas season, meaning the end of October is the worst time of year for no deal to hit. So, make sure you have made provisions for the space needed for your goods.
Hedge on currency
The British pound has undergone several price fluctuations in recent months, and hedging could potentially help mitigate the risk of a severe and sudden sterling devaluation.
Brief logistics companies and hauliers in advance
With disruption expected to land and sea freight, make sure that the people charged with transporting your goods have a robust contingency plan for all outcomes.
Determine the responsibility of declarations
Decide if you want to hire an import-export agent, or make the declarations yourself. You should also engage with the organisation that transports your goods to agree a division of responsibility with regards to declarations.
Consider marketing standard changes
Certain product categories may be subject to these after a no-deal Brexit, and if you export any of the following to the EU, you will need to meet the requirements for third countries (set out in the EC marketing standards regulations): beef and veal, eggs, fruits and vegetables, hatching eggs and chicks, hops, poultry, meat and wines.
Prepare for food label changes
Those working in the industry must plan for an overhaul of food labels if the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated trade deal (find further advice on our website here).
There will be no change to the way EU, European Economic Area and Swiss citizens prove their right to work until 1 January 2021. Read more about this on the UK government's website.
Data protection compliance
To ensure your business if fully compliant with data protection law in the event of a no-deal scenario, there is a six-step process to be aware of (which can be found here).
Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers
There are several exceptions to the rule, but simply put, you will need an EORI to continue "to move goods into or out of the EU (including the UK)". Some 90,000 companies have received a letter from HM Revenue and Customs to say they have been auto-enrolled in the scheme. If you have not registered or been notified of enrolment, get yours here.
The Department of International Trade are running a number of workshops to create a business action plan for Brexit.