Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Brexit Moan

You will no doubt have read in the press that one of the seemingly unforeseen issues we have after Brexit is the need for a customs declaration when sending parcels to or from the EU.  This seems to be a very complicated matter indeed, as although there is unlikely to be duty paid, the amount of form filling and put frankly - buggering about - is attracting fees in addition to VAT which is payable either by the seller in the EU in the case of EU-GB, or by the recipient.  Ideally this would be paid to HMRC by the European exporter - and many will do that and pass it on in the price- but for others the game is no longer worth the candle, and they will simply cease to trade business to customer with the UK.

 Already I have seen on Twitter and elsewhere that beer is affected by this and for my own part, my occasional cases of mixed beers from Bavaria will cease for the time being. OK it isn't the biggest worry in the world as I can buy substitutes here to a certain extent, or simply buy British beer instead, which I already do.  The pity is that when travel is banned, and we are all in lockdown, a bit of a taste of Germany is a welcome diversion, but I fear that in the future, for many lovers of beer from Bavaria or Belgium, the only way to get those rare beers, will be either to pay top dollar here, if you are lucky enough to find what you want, or do without. It seems we will likely be back to awaiting our foreign trips in many cases. Here's what the German company said.

Momentan ist kein Versand nach England, Wales und Schottland möglich. Wir arbeiten daran. Aber es muss u.a. eine Handelsrechnung erstellt werden.

Danke für Euer Verständnis

 Euer Web-Bier-Team

Basically, for the time being until they work it out, no sales to England and Scotland.

My attitude, while annoyed by this being inflicted upon me and countless others was one of "Well I suppose I can be philosophical about that."  Less so when I discovered that the watch E had bought for me for my birthday in August had ceased to work.  It had been in its box more or less since then as it is a bit "dressy" for day to day use. I'd only taken it out to look at it out of boredom on Saturday, but when I did the bugger had stopped.  Like all of my watches, it is made in Germany and in this case was purchased direct from the manufacturer in Berlin. I ordered it one day and a day and a half later, UPS turned up with it. Easy peasy.

I wrote to the manufacturer complaining about the short battery life, but their response was to send me a prepaid label to send it back for repair or replacement.  Clearly they know something I don't and a mere battery replacement is insufficient. The prepaid label is also a customs declaration. It is a bit complex.  I need to know quite a few things I don't. Here it is - see what you make of it. Click to make it bigger.

Now of course I have asked the seller to tell me the stuff I don't know, but even then and with free postage I am reluctant to send a quite expensive watch back with missing information. I worry that I'll never see it again.

The beer I can sort out - or rather - live with, but my lovely watch, not so sure. Brexit dividend? I rather think not.

Yes - better inside the tent pissing out in this case.  And probably every case. Clearly business to business will sort itself out, albeit expensively, but business to customer and vice versa? I doubt it. 

And of course I didn't vote leave. I'm not that crazy.


Ian Worden said...

Not about beer or watches but this thread gives some insight into the mess that has been created for what seems like everything


Phil said...

Bad news. I ordered 75€-worth of Belgian beer before Christmas from biere-speciale.be with just this in mind (75 being where reduced shipping kicks in). Trouble is, I've drunk half of it, and the rest won't last forever. Hopefully if there is any interruption it'll be temporary (your Bavarians likewise).

Apparently the UK "negotiating" team was offered a whole range of waivers and exemptions which would have made trading easier, and refused them on principle - "give us Canada" was the catchphrase.

Tandleman said...

The other point is will the repaired or rplacement watch cause me to have to pay VAT and duty. Or is this only payable on the repair cost which is nil as under guarantee?

Does a replacement mean I have to pay duty and VAT as over £135?

Fred said...

I don't know the answers about your watch, but please do update us as things unfold. It is a problem that many of us could face at some point in the future.

Tandleman said...

Will do.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

We're less than a month in from a complete change in how Britain has traded with the rest of the world for decades and there are bound to be teething problems like this.
And inevtiably there will be winners and losers initially.
Here in Ireland at the end of a long supply chain through the UK landbridge we were promised empty shelves.This was bollocks.
As was chaos predicted at Dover and the East Coast ports to Ireland.Also bollocks.
The only problems are caused by companies which failed to prepared.
And if you want an example of how Britain is better off not being part of the EU ( and yes I know they could still have done this while in the EU ) look at the chaos in Europe over vaccine procurement and read this.It's written by a German.
I don't expect any Remainer to change their minds over Brexit but why not give it a bit longer than three weeks to see if it works ?

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Apologies - I mean West Coast ports like Holyhead and Fishguard.

Paul Bailey said...

If it was absolutely necessary to leave the European Union, the sensible thing would have been to remain within the Customs Union and Single Market.

I don’t want to go into politics here, but allowing dogmatic arguments over sovereignty, (a nebulous concept, if ever there was one), to overrule real economic ones, was never going to end well.

Trade negotiations are normally designed to reduce or even remove barriers, but Johnson’s dog’s breakfast of a deal, must be the first in history to erect new ones instead.

Fortunately I managed to secure a number of Bavarian bottled beers prior to Christmas; purchased from a local pub that is offering a delivery service during lockdown. I’m alright for the moment, but I’m not sure about my normal source of supply, which is the excellent Beers of Europe, at Kings Lynn.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

The last four national opinion polls have shown a lead for the Tories over Labour, the most recent by a healthy five points which, after a year of the first Covid-19 patient being admitted to hospital and 100,000 fatalities, says to me a majority of people are still happy with the outcome of Brexit.
Or it could be they're willing to wait a while and see what happens before passing judgement.
It's simply too early to know what long-term advantages or disadvantages it will bring, particularly as Covid has completely distorted the economics.
The UK has now spent more on fighting Covid than every annual payment it ever made to the EU.

mole ha4 said...

With regard to Exports & imports since 31/12, there certainly have been problems with the export of perishable items. Since the actual "Trade Agreement " was made in the second half of December there are doubtless aspects that were not foreseen. As someone who works for a company who imports far more than we export there are definitely difficulties for some of our EU Suppliers, often whether their goods are of EU Preferential origin (Duty Free) or EU Origin (3rd country full Duty Rate).
Moving on to Opinion Polls yes the last 4 I have found indeed give Cons a lead, Redfield & Wilton (25/1) gives Con a 5 % lead , previously Deltapoll (21-23/1) lead was + 2%, YouGov (21-22/1) was + 1%,and as recently as 14-15/1 Opinium gave a Lab lead + 4%. so by no means conclusive. Source markpack.org.uk
Current success of UK vaccination programme probably a factor in Con moving ahead.
We can all probably agree that these are Interesting times; as well as missing the conviviality of decent pubs & draught beer. Let us hope that the latter may be available to us wherever we are perhaps from early April / Easter onwards.

Cooking Lager said...

It's great, Brexit.
It annoys the right people.
Pity we can't do it again. Then keep doing it.


So the paperwork is now what it has been all along with non-EU imports, ie the blocks EU used to place on non-EU imports. Tandleman is facing issues which have existed all along for non-EU imports. Now outside the EU those barriers can finally be tackled, if we and the government so wish. What a drag EU has been on international trade.

Beermunster said...

There are very good reasons why countries around the world generally like to join large trading blocks. There are huge advantages to doing so. It removes red tape, removes costs and as trade is not a zero sum game, usually all involved benefit.

The UK is now doing the opposite and we seem to be surprised that there are severe negative impacts as a result.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Tonight there are 8,369,438(and counting)reasons why the UK made exactly the right decision to leave the EU.
Here in Ireland I face the choice of risking flying to the UK for a jab, getting a negative Covid test to return home and then spending two weeks in home quaratine.
And then doing it all over again in a few weeks time.
Or waiting until the summer at the earliest before Ireland finally gets enough vaccines to innoculate its over-65s with a first jab.
It's a no-brainer mate.
Why anyone would prefer to be governed by an unelected, failed German Defence Minister is beyond me.

Cooking Lager said...

Feel for you Prof.

Can't be good to shake of the British yoke only to become an EU colony and get stitched up like a greek.

But you gotta expect the british middle classes to whine about the specialist product imports that define their discerning identity or even free erasmus jollies for their kids (not all kids just theirs). It's who they are.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Thanks for the input Cookie but no need to feel sorry. I keep a foot in both camps so just waiting for the nod from my GP and I'm on the cheap Ryanair flight from Dublin.
Could be a bit tricky getting back but thanks to all that jiggery-pokery over the border during Brexit I've spied a route back through Belfast which doesn't require a Covid PCR test.
He who dares wins Rodders !

PS: My favourite whine is the Remoaners saying it's a disgrace to call the Erasmus replacement Turing because as a homosexualist he would definitely have been against Leaving.

ian said...

I wouldn't be too bothered about the watch (use the mobile instead) but the hassle about ordering beer from overseas is a hassle

Himanshi Verma said...

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Anonymous said...

There's a bigger issue than Brexit, the planet. Buying local beers (and everything else) reduces carbon footprints. Before lockdown I was bowled over by the ethos of the Sandbar in Manchester. They were allegedly the first in the area to import pilsner lager. Now however they were sourcing all their beers from as local as possible (Squawk, Blackjack, etc) and removing foreign beers in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Likewise all their food was being sourced locally. Worth asking the question do I really need to import this or that. Cheers Ian B

ian said...

"There also seems to this writer at least, that what happens in London, with its crowded after work scene, spilling onto pavements with no signs of social distancing"

It's not just a London thing. It's wherever in good weather a popular pub is frequented by a young demographic. I don't really understand why saying what you did is supposed to advance the points you make, other than to snipe at London. By doing this you simply come across as an out of date, out of touch Professional Northerner.

Tandleman said...

Ian. Out of date? As far as I know - and I've been about, there aren't many cities at all in the UK, where outside (unofficial) drinking is tolerated nearly so much as London and none of them is the seat of Government of the UK.

I'll leave you to join the dots of that argument.

As for sniping about London, why should I? I own a home there and very much enjoy the tolerance of the pavement. But that doesn't alter the facts of my case.

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