Europe Map with network overlaid

How will Brexit affect the transport of your goods to events in Europe?

If you ever exhibit at events in Europe or plan to do so in the future, you may be wondering how Brexit might affect you.

The straight answer, at the time of writing, is no one is entirely sure.

Hell, at the moment, no one is sure if we really will go through with Brexit at all!

But there are a few things to bear in mind now if you want to prepare for the eventuality, and in this blog, I’ll explain a few things to think about.

If you’re planning to attend events in Europe in future, consider the following questions:

Does your event logistics provider have international experience outside the EU?

If we do leave the single market, it’s likely that, after a transition period, we’ll move to a customs model similar to the arrangements we have with countries outside of the EU.

Companies that already have experience of international events logistics will be well-prepared for the paperwork and administrative processes involved.

We’ve taken our clients’ goods to venues in China, South America and Africa since we launched the company five years ago and it’s fair to say we’ve filled in our fair share of import/export documents!

In fact, many of our clients really value the fact we take all the admin of international transport off their hands.

With all the signs suggesting this bureaucracy will be extended to transport within Europe, we anticipate taking on a lot more of this burden. And we’re happy to do so.

Have I allowed for sufficient time and money?

We’ll do all we can to smooth the process of transporting your goods throughout Europe, keep costs down and minimise any delays, including completing the paperwork and making sure we have the relevant permits in place.

But for the initial period at least, I would suggest allowing extra time for customs clearance and some contingency budget to cover any additional costs.

Have I applied for my Economic Operator Registration and Identification number?

An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is needed to trade goods in Europe and you’ll need one to exhibit in Europe in future.

Your EORI will normally be based on your VAT number and will follow this format: GB Your VAT Number 0000

If your VAT number is 133807392 your EORI is likely to be GB1338073920000.

But don’t assume. Use the EORI Validator to check.

If you need to apply for an EORI visit the UK Government’s EORI website.

Tell us your EORI number when you book your delivery with us and we’ll make sure it goes onto the paperwork. Alternatively, tell us as soon as you get it and we’ll put it on your record.

Does your event logistics provider have an ECMT permit?

All haulage companies need a European Operators Licence to operate their vehicles in Europe.

Without this licence, a company will not be able to apply for the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permit. This permit is likely to be essential for providing trouble-free event logistics services in Europe if we leave the EU without a deal.

Make sure your chosen logistics partner has this important paperwork in place to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

To quote a recent update from the Department of Transport,

“The European Commission has published proposals that would allow UK hauliers to continue carrying goods into the EU until the end of 2019 if there is no deal, without the need for an ECMT permit. These will need to be agreed by the European Council and European Parliament, and are being considered by both bodies urgently.”

Even if the proposals are agreed, who knows what will happen after 2019?

Fortunately, we’re ahead of the game here at BBEL. We hold a Domestic and European Operators Licence, which means we can operate and hire our own vehicles throughout the UK and Europe. I have a personal Certificate of Professional Competence in event logistics and our application for an ECMT permit is progressing well.

So, if you need a reliable partner for your events logistics work in Europe, please get in touch.

No one is better placed to help.




Image (c) Pixabay | TheAndrasBarta