Our message to you is simple: Keep calm and carry on...
Over the Brexit transition period, starting after January 31st, we will remain focused on the logistics of moving furniture from our many factories in Europe to our customers mainly in the UK, as well as sending fabrics to these factories.
In due course, there are likely to be changes to import and export procedures, with the possibility of new administrative levies on goods and/or lorries entering and leaving the country.
If we leave the EU in an orderly manner, we hope these changes will be made in a controlled way; on the other hand, if we ‘crash’ out of the EU, it appears that the trading relationship between the UK and EU will revert to World Trade Organisation rules. We cannot be sure that this would not result in new import tariffs on furniture entering the country.
The Contract Chair Company will not pass on unexpected import tariffs charged on furniture that has been ordered by customers.
It is suggested that lorries travelling from the European mainland will be stopped and their contents checked, resulting in delays. We believe such checks are unlikely, both because delays would be politically harmful and because delays would be likely to quickly become unmanageable, which would swiftly impact on many important parts of the economy. There have also been clear reassurances from the French at Calais, the customs authorities at Dover and UK politicians that lorries entering the country will not be stopped.
We expect that any new charges will be electronically charged directly on the importing company rather than physically on the carrier at the border.
It is the opinion of The Contract Chair Company that Brexit will not significantly delay furniture being imported into the UK. Nonetheless we will be keeping a close eye on progress and may increase lead times for furniture being imported from the continent and fabrics being sent to our suppliers. We expect this increase to be no more than a fortnight.
In the meantime we believe that it remains…business as usual.