Knowing Brexit: Seminar report

Brexit is now less than a year away. And while the UK government have negotiated a 21 month transition period, there is still no clarification of the deal being sought. Which means that while businesses continue to have no idea what planning to undertake and time is running out…………

Last week’s inaugural MIQ Logistics Brexit seminar, brought together industry experts, retailers and brands to consider the current Brexit situation, the most likely outcomes and the risk mitigation actions that should be initiated.Alex-Veitch

The irony of the central London, Hotel Renaissance, location was not lost on the delegates: St Pancras International; ‘Gateway to Europe’!

Senior supply chain executives from a wide range of UK and European brands and retailers heard logistics, trade association and professional speakers, including some with direct Brexit policy input, give their personal assessment of the current situation, issues and actions.

Some of the key issues highlighted by the speakers include:

  • Consider cashflow implications
  • Lots of training and familiarisation will be needed
  • Any form of border control will result in colossal congestion
  • Exchange rate fluctuations will be more problematic than tariffs
  • Current EU/UK positions mean that ‘frictionless borders’ are not possible
  • AEO accreditation will be critical for forwarders and shippers, but most still do not hold it

Delegates took away high-level notes in the form of outline action and risk mitigation planning.

Action Risk Mitigation
Audit your situation Identify ways to mitigate cost
Contingency planning for all logistics in a Hard Brexit Engage with government where possible
Micro plan for Hard Brexit e.g. accurate tariff classification Convene internal team to act on risk mitigation
Research customs / border facilitations that may be helpful Make use of trade associations and professional bodies
Keep close to European partners Read original information
Stay up to date with Customs developments  Research serious analysis NOT headlines
Use tech to integrate with HMRC Reduce dependence on lower wage staff