Brexit: Our Plan and What You Need To Do (Shipster Clients)

As we're sure everyone's aware, the UK will be leaving the European Union on midnight of the 31st of December. There may be some implications for shipping that we must collectively account for but whilst Brexit is still unfolding, we don’t 100% know what those are. 

We are in constant contact with our partner couriers and where necessary we have already made all the pre-Brexit changes that have been requested. We have also produced a new version of Shipster which will be sent out in early December which includes code to account for these changes. As a default position, we will be implementing the no-deal scenario as that involves the most work and the changes needed for it are still valid in the event of us obtaining a deal.  We will correct this position as soon as we know what is happening, but in some scenarios, you may end up producing CN22 labels when they are not needed.

We have two scenarios to account for and some general changes that will apply in both situations;

Either Scenario
You will have been provided with an EORI number by HMRC, which will allow you to continue to trade within the EU and pay appropriate taxes. This is vitally important, and you should not only have your number, but be aware of the implications of using it.

Please ensure you send us this number, although we will be chasing up any clients who have not supplied it.

Deal Scenario
In this situation we would remain within the regulatory framework of the EU and shipping will be no different than it is now. There will be implications for your business regarding tax which if you have not already done so, I would recommend you get on top of as soon as possible.  For the actual shipping of items, you will see no difference.

No Deal Scenario
If this happens then we will be onto standard international trading agreements that apply by default to all nations.  Fortunately, we do have some fallback on shipping to within the EU, and we won’t be on the same broad terms that all other nations are on.  From a physical point of view, we will only need to apply a CN22 or CN23 to parcels, which is just one extra label to go on the outside of each box.  From a data perspective, you will be required to supply harmonized commodity codes and accurate descriptions of each item, and this is perhaps the hard part.

We would advise all clients at this time to start checking that they have descriptions and codes for all of their items and that they are accurate.  Unlike international shipping at the moment that is notoriously lax, the EU is quite strict on these matters and incorrectly labelled shipments will be refused entry.  Items described in general terms, such as “Clothing” for example, would be refused.

If you are on a system that does not currently fully support commodity codes, then you will need to apply that information into one of your Attribute fields within your feed to us, and then notify us of this attribute.  We will then make sure it is in the correct location when shipping occurs.

So just to clarify the points of action that you should take now;

1.    Send us your EORI number if you have not already
2.    Add accurate descriptions to all your products, and put procedures in place to ensure it happen with all new products
3.    Add commodity codes to your products and email to tell us in which attribute we can find these codes. 

If you are a client and have any further questions, please send them to