199 days to go. Port of Rotterdam issues a warnlng: Companies are not prepared for Brexit!

Most of Dutch companies dealing with the United Kingdom is still insufficiently prepared for Brexit. Many German companies are either doing enough to meet the challenges of Brexit.

Preprations and contingency planning is vital at this stage. Preparations needs to start now, today. Export to the United Kingdom are at risk when UK leaves the EU on 29 Match 2019, 199 days from now. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is now issuing a sharp warning for this.

There is still no agreement between Brussels and London on the conditions for the UK to leave EU through Brexit. Although there is much unclear about the deal (or no-deal) – also UK companies can do more than they do.

‘If they do not prepare, we will end up in deep trouble’, says head of external relations Mark Dijk, Port of Rotterdam on Tuesday at a meeting on the consequences of the Brexit for the port. Rotterdam is the largest sea port of Europe.

According to Dijk, research shows that only 18 percent of companies prepare themselves for Brexit. That is not an exclusive Dutch problem. Dijk is also worried about German entrepreneurs. Many German exports run via Rotterdam. “People are not working on that.”

The Port of Rotterdam will hold a test in November to check whether the port is Brexit-proof.

According to the Brexit coordinator of Customs, Roel van ‘t Veld,’ it still seems to be very uncertain for entrepreneurs. ‘Although there is no agreement about the conditions of Brexit, he believes that there are many things that companies can do. He warns that ‘it will never be as it was’, even if the UK remains part of the customs union.

Van ‘t Veld gives an example:’ If you want to export ready-made meals from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom, you need two documents. ‘ There are nine after Brexit. Something similar happens with the export from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands.

Some 35,000 companies that trade with the UK have never done business with countries outside the EU. ‘They will have to file a declaration with the customs authorities for each shipment,’ says Van ‘t Veld. According to MKB Nederland, it is true that, in particular, many smaller companies that do business with UK are ‘not or not at all’ working on Brexit preparations at all.

Companies do not have to sit still, says Van ‘t Veld. He knows a company that did a ‘test shipment’ to Canada to gain experience with the customs process. The United Kingdom will soon be in a similar position to the EU as that country. Don’t wait, prepare now.

Roel Van’t Veld will speak at the KGH Brexit Symposium in Soest on 20-21 November 2018. Don’t miss the event of the year.

For more information: Brexit Symposium

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