Many businesses rely on placing orders to European suppliers on an ad hoc basis. What this will usually mean is running their stock of components or products down until they need to be reordered. However, more often than not this is not the most cost-effective way of doing things? Frequently, it would be better to import wholesale items from Europe to the UK instead. Why?
To begin with, importing to the UK from the European Union has become a lot more difficult since the UK left the common market. This is the case everywhere except Northern Ireland which enjoys a separate status. The other thing that adds to the complexity of last-minute ordering is the availability of HGV drivers. There is an acute shortage in the UK and a recruitment and retention problem in the rest of Europe, too. In other words, in numerous sectors, placing small, repeat orders is more expensive than placing a wholesale order. Typically, importers of commodities like consumer electronic goods, home decoration products, watches, stationery and beauty items will be better off if they think ahead and order wholesale stock levels rather than relying on smaller deliveries to meet only current levels of demand.
To do this, however, you are likely to need a freight forwarding company to help you through the process. Some businesses are large enough to employ their own specialists in this area. However, most SMEs will find that a good freight forwarding company will not just mean that their wholesale imports arrive on time but do so without any unnecessary expense. Freight specialists with experience of wholesale imports from the EU to the UK post-Brexit can be worth their weight in gold.
According to one such firm, Barrington Freight, one of the key things to get right with wholesale imports from Europe are commodity codes. These are specified by HMRC in the tariff chapters that came in following the UK’s departure from the EU. To bring in hairdryers as wholesale items, for example, you will need to use the code 8516310000 on your import paperwork. However, not everything you might want to import is such a clear cut case as this, especially if the item has more than one potential purpose. That’s why hiring in expertise can be so beneficial.
As well as declaring the right class of wholesale goods, importers will need to be registered as such and get an EORI number. Without one, your goods could remain at the dockside of wherever they’ve arrived in the UK for some time before they can make their way to your warehouse. That said, in some cases, a so-called simplified import declaration can be appropriate. This is, in effect, a supplementary declaration with the full details of the items you have bought that you can make after the goods have been received. This may suit some business models but not all, so it is worth checking before going down this route.
Finally, selecting how to import wholesale items is also important. In many cases, a container shipment will be the most cost-effective choice. However, you shouldn’t rule out air freight or courier shipments, especially if you are importing high-value goods.