With almost two years since Brexit came into force for the UK, businesses are still contending with the changes to their importing and exporting procedures. Now with even more changes on their way related to Brexit and changes to Customs procedures, it is more important than ever that businesses importing and exporting with EU states are fully prepared.

For the team here at Grace Overseas, however, our vast amount of preparation in the lead up to Brexit has meant that we have been able to seamlessly transition to these new ways of working, not to mention supporting our clients through these changes.

freight industry

We have recently sat down with Paul Morfett, Director of Grace Overseas’ Crawley office, who provided insight into precisely how Grace has achieved Brexit success over the past two years. Here’s what Paul had to say:

The importance of Brexit preparation

When you face major changes in the way that your business presents itself in the marketplace there was a need to gain as much knowledge and understanding of the customs procedures as quickly as possible. We needed to do this in order for Grace to guide our clients and also protect our business.

The major issue was until Brexit was agreed, there was no defined rules and regulations in place, so it was virtually impossible to train yourself for every eventuality.

What did Grace do to support?

We immediately undertook a customs academy course with the local Chamber of Commerce, of which we have been members since the creation of Grace Overseas Logistics Ltd, in Crawley.

We found this helpful to give us an overall better understanding of the customs procedures that would be expected.  We then undertook official training with the UK Customs Academy for all our staff, with the funding help of a Government Grant.

To help us and our clients, we then contacted Customs agents in the countries that we collected/delivered to regularly.  It was essential that we had agents across Europe that could liaise with loading/delivery points and also guide us with regards to the changing customs procedures needed for each country.

We also spoke to smaller, more family orientated companies, that have a similar ethos to us. Having access to their language skills is essential for a smooth customs process.

What was the outcome for Grace Overseas’ clients?

Our clients had, and still have, many questions regarding Brexit and how it affects their business.  We are able to use the training we have, to guide them in the procedures and reassure them we are able to organise import or export clearance procedures for them in the countries they work within.  We were able to guide them in the initial setting up their own businesses for the change too, obtaining EORI numbers and explaining that all their items needed Commodity Codes and shipping terms added to invoices.

Each European job now takes a little longer to plan and there is certainly an increase in the paperwork needed, but we are now able to guide our clients in the most efficient way of doing this.

Each day is still a learning experience for all of us, but our clients feel we always have their best interests at the forefront of our minds when organising European transport for them.

We talk about languages as a verbal process, i.e. French, German, English. But the understanding, the language of Customs, can be counted in the same way. It is a complicated language to learn and it is a language we continue to learn on a daily basis.

A local company that requires the movement of power units around Europe has recently said of our services:

“We thank Grace Overseas Logistics for their support and guidance post Brexit. They have been by our side since the initial change and continue to guide us on a weekly basis regarding the most efficient way of transporting our goods across the European markets we operate in. 

We appreciate the personal touch they provide us and are able to explain the processes to us in simple terms. They also have language skills themselves and also within the countries we service. This is essential to aid in a speedy conclusion to jobs that we need urgently delivered.”

Are you looking for support with Brexit changes? Speak to the team at Grace Overseas today on 01923 441 911 or email freight@graceoverseas.com.

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