The UK greeting card industry has always enjoyed a strong export business and long may that continue, but there is still considerable confusion and frustrations over in navigating the challenges of international trade post-Brexit.
Next week, as part of its continued commitment to support and help its members navigating the challenges of international trade post-Brexit, the GCA is holding its second Panel Discussion on the matter. “Building on the positive feedback from our first panel discussion and extensive Brexit blog on our website, our aim with next week’s session is to give clarity on several aspects which continue to trouble those in the greeting card industry as well as highlighting upcoming changes of which many may be unaware,” promises Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA.
The panel will include Emily Lambert, trade advisor from the Department of International Trade; Richard Asquith, VP of global indirect tax at Avalara, experts in VAT. They will be joined by members from the greeting card community – Ged Mace, managing director of The Art File and GCA Council; Daniel Prince, managing director of Danilo and GCA Council member, David Falkner, director of Cardology and John Welsh, founder of 2WL – all of whom are experienced in exporting and importing and will share their learnings.
Having been involved in greeting card logistics for many years, John Welch’s input will be invaluable. As he told PG Buzz: “We’ve been working hard to understand how things have changed post-Brexit. It’s always important that we provide clear guidance on best practice to our customers. And this has never been more relevant after the first year of Covid-19. We are convinced that the future for exporting remains strong and expect to see a continuing recovery. “
Emily will respond to questions and share details of help now available for exporters. This includes workshops for small companies who would like to begin exporting. She is currently delivering the Export Academy, a series of 10 webinars covering topics such as international market research, customs procedures and pricing strategy.
The Panel Discussion will also respond to questions members have sent in covering logistics, rules of origin and also grants available. Any GCA member wishing to add their question(s) for the Panel should send them to Amanda today (April 15) to firstname.lastname@example.org
The GCA has been leading the way in highlighting one upcoming issue that will affect many in the card industry – the changes to VAT due in July 2021. “Currently EU and non-EU sellers, selling goods online to EU consumers, can import the goods into the EU, directly to the consumer, import VAT-free if the order is valued at €22 or below. This ends in July 2021 and all imports will be then be subject to EU VAT in the relevant country of import,” explains Amanda.
To help simplify this process UK-based businesses can register for Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) as ‘non-Union sellers’. IOSS should help small traders selling goods directly to consumers. Using IOSS will require VAT registration in just one EU member state, rather than each individual country sales are made in.
However, there is very little information available on this issue which the GCA has pressed for.
In her correspondence to HMRC, Amanda wrote: “…from a business point of view, it is very difficult for companies to plan ahead, and understand/find the resources they need to navigate these changes, without more information. Many are unaware of these changes and therefore won’t be ready to operate in July. I know from conversations with other trade associations we are not alone here. It would be great if the government could please publicise more that this is coming, I think people would understand the complexities of it/that other EU nations are involved, but they need some warning.”
A recording of the Panel Discussion will be hosted in the GCA members library and pertinent information will be added to the GCA Brexit blog.