I’ll admit it right now. The title is misleading. There is currently very little movement for freight forwarding when it comes to everyone’s favourite topic, Breixt. I wish I could be sat here telling you trade agreements have been sorted, customs regulation has changed in this way and the plethora of issues we are all currently waiting to hear about. Sadly, I just can’t. However, just because there haven’t been any major developments on the Brexit frontier, doesn’t mean that there isn’t issues and factors you should be keeping an eye on.

Applying for an EORI (Export Operator Registration Identification) number is numero uno on the list of things you should be doing before we leave the EU, or at the least. This acts as an exporter’s VAT registration number, and as it is anticipated that after the Brexit transition period an EORI number will be needed for both EU and non-EU exports, this is extremely important.

The second point is understanding the new systems that will control trade. CDS (Customs Declaration Service) is the new, primary system and understanding it thoroughly is imperative. This is due to the functionalities of the new CDS allowing traders direct access to many new data records, potentially giving freight forwarders the upper hand whilst the systems go through the inevitable teething issues.

Last, but by no means least, is applying for an AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) is vital to legitimacy to your company after we leave the EU. The audit programme is rigorous and requires significant management commitment. In return, the benefits include a ‘light touch’ when it comes to physical controls, reduced customs financial guarantees where required and, above all, it raises the standard of internal customs competences and knowledge of customs procedures within a company’s own organisation. This is a must before we leave the EU.

There will be more updates on how Brexit is really going to affect the commerce in the coming months, but until this happens I strongly recommend that you look at some of these pre-Brexit tips. Organisation is the key in a volatile situation, and that is just what this could turn out to be.

Matt Dailly | Editor | FORWARDER Magazine