Updated 15 February 2021
On 24 December 2020 a new post-Brexit trade agreement was made between the UK and the EU. Following 18 months of extensive planning and the implementation of changes to our business structure and supporting systems in anticipation of various possible outcomes, from 1 January 2021 our business has been able to continue much as it was before Brexit.
The geographic footprint of Westcon-Comstor in the EU including the presence of major logistics hubs in both the Netherlands and the UK, and our reliance on a single SAP-based operational system equips us well to work within the new arrangements.
While the new arrangements are taking effect, we recognise there may be some issues and delays caused by increased lead times, transit times and processing complexities. In addition, partner feedback has confirmed that there is still confusion about the cost and logistical implications of the new trade agreement, in particular when it comes to shipping goods across the newly created border between the two trading partners post-Brexit.
For Westcon-Comstor, cross-border transactions are nothing new. Armed with many years of international experience and the global expertise of our Global Supply Chain solutions team, we are well placed to help our partners find the best solutions to do business across borders.
At this moment in time, we would like to advise our customers and partners of the following key points.
- Westcon-Comstor teams are managing quotes and orders based on our optimal supply chain routes. This would see our partners placing all orders onto the UK entity for fulfilment in the UK, and onto the Netherlands entity for distribution requirements into the EU.
- Following the optimal supply chain model avoids export and import controls, potential cross-border delays and additional duties and levies that may be applied and need for providing an IOR (Importer of Record) service by Westcon or a third party.
- Any orders that are not following the optimal supply chain outlined may require additional clarifications such as what freight services are needed and who will be acting as the Importer of Record at the end country in the case that there is a trade border.
- Any orders that haven’t shipped before 1 January 2021 fall under the new legislature and could have additional duties, taxes and licencing requirements that may increase costs or delay deliveries.
- Any active quotations placed with Westcon-Comstor in the last few months may need to be reviewed by our teams.
- Based on the information from our carriers we are anticipating potential delays for goods shipped from our UK warehouse to European destinations, as well as from our Netherlands warehouse to UK destinations, for both economy and express services.
With a definitive trade agreement in place we are confident of sustaining our service levels to our customers and vendor partners. As the new agreement is implemented, we will keep you informed on the implications of the new arrangements.