A practical guide

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  • Hi All first time poster on the forum.

    I work in finance for a UK company with a £50m turnover. I am currently trying to do what those thousands of ads and emails are telling me to do: prepare for Jan 1st. Heres what i know so far about the implications:

    1. We have approx £1.5m of working capital (cash) tied up in stock and have done for the last 18 months and will continue to do for at least the mext 12. This cash could have been used to expand our business or pay off debts

    2. We have spent about an additional £100k on additional storage of this stock which will probably go to £200k before this ends

    3. We have invested about £50k into changing out IT infrastructure to handle the changes to customs, VAT and logistics. But we know there are still changes to come but HMRC or any other government department is unable to inform us of this. To give you an example we will be required to have an EORI number for NI from Jan 1st, these dont currently exist and will be only sent out by post bt HMRC on or around Dec 16th!!! So we have to try to hope to get it by Dec 18th i guess and somehow implement that into our system over xmas and new years.

    4. We have spoken to our logistics providers regarding transportstion into UK. Their expectation is about a doubling of transportation costs so approx £150k extra cost next year. The reason for this is the additional wait times at ports and additional declarations that will be required, the reduced transport capacity because of this and the reluctance of transport companies and drivers to go to the UK instead of elsewhere for easier money.

    5. The excise duties for getting our stock in will cost an additional £25k -£50k per annum

    6. We now have to complete customs devlarations on export from EU, Import into UK & when we move product from UK to NI. The cost of getting someone to complete this paperwork is about £10 per shipment. We expect this to cost the business approx £50k but possibly more

    7. We use the CE quality mark for our UK products this ceases on Jan 1st and we will now need to register our products with MHRA as we are medical. The cost of registering our thousands of products is expected to be in the region of £100k. We also have to change our labeling in production which will cost about £25k

    8. We are no longer part of GDPR and as data flows from EU to GB and we hold that data we have had to review how that will work post Jan 1st. This is also still not decided but it has already cost us £5k to get this legal advice on this and our terms and conditions changes that result due to brexit.

    9.We have had to inform our customers, many of whom rely on current or next day delivery that this possibly will not happen and it may be up to 1 or 2 weeks to get stock to them. Were talking hospitals and pharmacies here, if paitent need arises we of course will try our best to fufill it but it simply may not be possible. We would in usual circumstances ship direct from the EU to the customer if our warehouse did not have the stock but this will be troublesome come Jan 1st.

    10. We still do not know this is the end, in fact we expect it isnt, the internal cost of the project we havent quantified as in our staff time but i assure you it runs in the £100ks at this stage. Everyone is stressed, exhausted and angry at preparing, stop preparing, dont know preparing its ridiculous and im sure were not alone.


    1.Brexit preparations have already cost us £500k

    2.Government still cannot tell us what to prepare for despite the flashy ads and website

    3. We are still unprepared

    • Staff Notice

    Hello Fino,

    I think others maybe struggling for a way to answer your thread here. Are you asking people for an opinion on the steps you have taken to prepare for Brexit? And/or are you inferring that Brexit is either bad or good for your business?

    We obviously don't know your business and cannot comment on it specifically.

    If my post is in this colour, it is a moderator decision. Please abide by it.

  • Hello Fino,

    I think others maybe struggling for a way to answer your thread here. Are you asking people for an opinion on the steps you have taken to prepare for Brexit? And/or are you inferring that Brexit is either bad or good for your business?

    We obviously don't know your business and cannot comment on it specifically.

    Hi Horizon,

    To be honest i just wanted to put it down what businesses the lenght and breadth of the UK are currently doing, spending small fortunes of preparing for something that will make them less profitable.

    With brexit there is an awful lot of what ifs and bluster, my post was an aim to get into a bit more detail to hopefully shed some light on the disaster that is brexit

  • More propaganda then. Stop dealing outside of the UK and everything will be fine. Take a leaf out of Americas book but instead of US first it's UK first Make Britain Great Again. A global economy and having to rely on other countries is not good enough as has been proven during this COVID crisis, We need to be self sufficient and anyone that deals with another country from within is a traitor and deserves to sink like ship with a plug pulled out of it's bilges.

    There's only three reasons to do business abroad. The first and most excusable is that the resources cannot be got or made from within the UK but it would have to be some kind of super rare mineral or something. The second reason is for cheap labour and maximising profits. The third reason is for tax evasion and creating loopholes. So good on customs for trying to claim back some losses. If a company wants to use this countries resources as a base but take their employment or buy in from abroad then that's how it has to be.

    Were talking hospitals and pharmacies here,

    Oh good goody should get interesting then. Is that supposed to sound scary.

    Guess what before the days of technology we survived just fine. In fact most people had a job and a better life's than today. Even GDPR does not benefit the person who's data has been compromised through the stupidity of companies with either a lack of knowledge or care for privacy and security. Do you do monthly pen tests on you systems. Do you use insecure social media accounts because your following the herd. GDPR is there to benefit governments by fining companies that breach the rules and does not benefit the people. If anything it's making people even more vulnerable to attack by adding JavaScript GDPR compliance agreements to websites and companies should be cross shredding data regularly anyway. They shouldn't have to be told.

    In fact if it was me I would take things further and it would be a bloody good idea if the UK government made it a legal requirement for any company that has any online involvement as part of their business, especially if they keep a client base on networked computers, to have to hire a cybersecurity expert to do a monthly analysis of all systems and issue a certificate that can be checked and verified so companies can't cut corners. We are in a cyberwar so something needs to be done. just look at the last few weeks attacks on the US and Google the other day. You wouldn't want your company to become part of a botnet would you. Maybe use you as part of DDoS attack on another company or country or even help feed bitcoin mining to help pay for some terrorist groups activities in the world. I would make an exception for home self employed graphic designers etc as they work in the industry so generally are more security compliant and home users are not as big a target as business networks, though that might change soon if WFH becomes a full time thing because companies see it as another profit making area cutting down on office space and bog roll.

    For your transport what are you going to do when we go back to using horse and cart because it's more environmentally friendly. There's more to life than profit. How about being part of the community and keeping work within the community everything all done in-house within the UK. Is that even possible with your business or are you just about maximising profits and crying out about the losses.

    If you want to do business in this country then do business in this country and employ a British workforce. Don't work from here as a base and take your business abroad to then import and sell to businesses in this country to maximise profit. Especially when that is something like medical supplies that's purchased through tax payers money. So in affect your company is possibly ripping off the NHS (if you deal with them) so customs is going to rip you off at the border and claim some of those losses back.

    I could be wrong and making some assumptions here because I don't know the ins and outs of your business but I guess I'm not to far off. I'm sorry but this is one very good reason why we need out of the EU and to be able set our own boundaries.

    Far to many companies over here taking advantage of the location but not feeding this country's workforce. Export yes, but don't import cheap goods to sell here and maximise profits. If we can stop most imports then that's a good thing in the long run. We should see lots of exports and very little imports if we want the country to stay afloat, profit and succeed. As for the rest....well we need to weed out the abusers or force them into either buying from companies within the UK or making their own production line here in the UK and sell to the UK cheaper than what they export for. Make a good product instead of cheaper inferior products, especially Chinese then countries abroad might be willing to pay higher prices.

    Make Britain Great Again.

  • Ok thank you for your reply, so to give background i work in a multi national company with over 8,000 products protected by patent supplied to the medical industry with our main customer being NHS.

    1st. You can call my post many things but propaganda is not one, each point is factual and practical - these are real expenses.

    2nd.You cant have a global economy, be self sufficient and not rely on other countries and anyone who imports items that can be made in britian is a traitor...this doesnt make sense you can either be self sufficient and traitor less in your eyes or have a global economy you cant have both. To get countries to trade with you there has to be an incentive to them to allow your products to be sold

    3rd. Youre reasons for trading abroad are set in absolutist terms, there are literally hundreds of reasons to trade abroad, any economist worth their salt will tell you that by not allowing in foreign products and companies actually results in inferior british companies and higher prices for british consumers. British companies will not have to compete with the competition, they can set the prices where they like, they will not have to innovate their products, supply chains and back office functions like they would if they were to compete. This means british business will not be able to compete abroad in the medium to long term. Importing and Exporting and importing is not modern, its been around for hundreds of years in britain, many innovations were found doing this which made britain an economic powerhouse.

    4th. Your points on GDPR are laregly completely irrelevant for the company i work for, we dont operate on social media and have a full IT department working for the company in britain. This was made much cheaper by being able to pool resourses between countries as they service the entire continent, this in turn increased the skills of the department that works in britain as they were able to specialise in areas rather than being a "jack of all". Because of potential issues with GDPR, it may not be possible for this to continue and this department will move to somewhere in the EU to continue to serve the whole continent, with the likelihood of serving UK from there also. Another loss of revenue for HMRC never mind the expertise.

    5th. For my company to setup production in the UK would take about 4-5 years minimum. It takes a lot of time to get planning, build and commission a healthcare production facility. We generally dont have the personnel required to run it, or the related parts supply chains to fufill the orders. Can you just try to imagine how many parts go into 8000 medical device products? Its literally 10s of thousands of parts going into making these products you think we can get everything from the UK and do it all in a few months??!! Then also take into account it would cost tens of millions to do so, it simply wouldnt be cost effective for one economy. Most if not all suppliers of medical equipment are global companies with global supply chains, im sorry it just doesnt work that way and hasnt since before you were born.

    We do have a workforce in UK a highly skilled highly paid workforce. If your wish was carried out either companies would exit the market leaving the UK market less competitive and drive up prices for the NHS aka you or we would do as you wished causing prices to probably at least quadruple for you. Healthcare would become unaffordable many of the products you pick up from your pharmacy that you take for granted either wouldnt be there or would be so expensive as to make you think twice. The additional jobs would easily be out weighed by the loss of jobs in the export economy and those jobs that you want back...well they will most likely be minimum wage. You will literally be swapping a first world economy for a third world one

  • Excellent Post Norra.. Seldom have I read a post which deals with the subject in such a mature, intelligent and sensible manner. I cannot fault any of what you said. Well Done :thumbup:

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