by Oliver Dyas | Thursday, 23 March, 2023 | European Road Freight, European Shipping, Uncategorised
Good news for Welsh traders
Two new freeports in Wales! Taking the UK planned total up to 12.
Today two new freeports have been announced in Wales. Anglesey Freeport and the ‘Celtic Freeport’ including Port Talbot and Milford Haven the Institute of Export & International Trade reports.
This is on top of the 10 freeports already announced.
At time of writing, only 6 of these freeports are open and operating, being Felixstowe, Liverpool, Plymouth, Teesside, Thames and Solent. East Midlands Airport and Humber freeports are still in development.
How do freeports help UK traders?
For UK traders, there are several advantages to operating within a freeport. One of the most significant benefits is the reduction or elimination of customs duties and taxes on goods that are imported into the zone. This can make importing goods cheaper and more attractive, which in turn can boost your business.
Additionally, freeports often have simplified customs procedures and streamlined regulations, making it easier and quicker for businesses to move goods in and out of the zone. Making life much easier for traders.
All going to plan, this is good news for these communities in Wales. Inevitably, they will bring a boost to these areas as well as opening up new trade options for Welsh businesses.
It may be several years yet till these freeports are up and running effectively. That said, Espace wholeheartedly support investment in these areas, knowing that they will effectively reduce barriers to trade for more UK businesses.
Take a look at Espace EUroad for exporting into Europe
by Oliver Dyas | Tuesday, 7 March, 2023 | Customs Clearance, European Shipping, Uncategorised
Prices continue to go up meaning rising freight costs
Transport and freight costs have been steadily increasing over the past few years and even more so in the last 12 months, leaving many people wondering why. Various factors have contributed to rising transport and freight costs and explore how a freight forwarder can help keep these down. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of why transport and freight costs have increased and what can be done to reduce them.
The main factors
- Covid – a high demand for transport driven by post-pandemic recovery of economies.
- Brexit – decreased appetite of EU drivers to come to the UK, additional customs fees, port fees – hassle factor so any EU hauliers that do come want a premium.
- Drivers Mobility package – implemented to safeguard the working rights of truck drivers in Europe by imposing work, rest and cabotage regimes. Inevitably drivers rates have increased and the rules on rest / monthly breaks will mean fewer drivers available at any one time – hence an increase in rates to cover wages.
- Fuel increases (a consequence of the War on Ukraine) – energy hikes across the board.
- Driver shortages – wage pressure from the small pool of professional drivers, lack of desire from the younger generation to begin a driving career.
The Role of Port Fees in Rising Freight Costs
Port fees are charges that are imposed by port authorities for the use of their facilities and services. The fees cover a variety of costs, including maintenance and operation of the port, as well as security and environmental protection. In recent years since Brexit, port fees have been steadily increasing due to a variety of factors such as increased port traffic, as the UK is using these ports a lot more thus causing an increased demand for services.
We predict we will see a standardisation of port fees across the next few years.
Click here for current port fees.
Government information on port codes
So how does a Freight Forwarder help?
All these factors over the past few years have proven why freight forwarders have a place in the market.
From a practical point of view freight forwarders can reduce costs by providing a range of services that can streamline the process of shipping goods.
These services include helping to negotiate better rates with carriers, consolidating shipments to save on costs, and providing advice on the most efficient way to ship goods. Additionally, freight forwarders can help manage paperwork and customs clearance, which can save time and money
From a knowledge point of view freight forwarders have a deep understanding of the shipping industry, which allows them to provide valuable advice and services to their customers. They have knowledge of the various regulations and laws that govern shipping, even more useful with Brexit and the changes the UK is still getting to grips with.
As well as an understanding of the different carriers and their pricing structures. This market knowledge allows freight forwarders to negotiate better rates with carriers and provide helpful advice on the most efficient way to ship goods. By utilizing a freight forwarder’s market knowledge, businesses can reduce their transport costs while ensuring their goods are shipped safely and on time.
by Oliver Dyas | Tuesday, 28 February, 2023 | Brexit, Uncategorised
A red lane and green lane? Brexit finally done? VAT changes?
A lot has happened in the past 48 hours with the Prime Minister looking to reach an agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol. This new agreement has been dubbed “The Windsor Framework” but what does this mean for transport and freight?
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?
The NI Protocol is the trading agreement that was first negotiated during Brexit allowing goods to be transported across the Irish land border – allowing goods to move without the need for customs checks.
However the EU has strict rules for some items on non-EU trade. Thus making it hard to strike a deal.
This special agreement was to keep a level of continuity in trade and to uphold and protect The Good Friday Agreement. Now the UK is looking to change things with agreement from the EU.
Red light, green light
The new plan sets up a green lane and red lane, green for goods only going to Northern Ireland, meaning no checks on the majority of shipments and minimal paperwork. The red lane would be for goods due to travel into the Republic of Ireland or deemed “at risk” of doing so and would face customs checks at NI ports.
Exporters and importers will now need to be registered as a ‘trusted trader’ to use the green lane. All UK-based traders are eligible to apply with HMRC and will need to provide details of any goods they move.
The old way
Goods are checked at ports in NI on arrival, regardless of if they are destined for NI or ROI, then moved to their final destination.
The new way
Goods arrive in NI in one of two lanes, Green lane goods for NI only and this will eliminate unnecessary paperwork, checks and duties.
Red lane for ROI and the EU are checked and moved on. Data-sharing and labelling arrangements will keep this system in check.
A shift in VAT?
Under the old NI Protocol EU VAT rules apply to NI, meaning that any change in UK rules won’t affect NI. Now the UK has “secured full, lasting powers for the UK to set VAT and excise rules in NI. We have done this by removing existing rules and preventing other new EU VAT rules from applying in NI.”
The rules on movement of certain goods have shifted from UK exports to NI. Chilled Lincolnshire sausages are now back on the menu for Northern Ireland. Less restrictions on the movement on such goods we would expect to uptick food freight movement.
Stormont’s say on The Northern Ireland Protocol
Northern Ireland lacks a say in changes in EU rules, whilst being still affected by these rules as part of the Protocol. The changes now seem to be moving towards Stormont having more say and greater input in the future, a new “Stormont Brake” will allow the NI assembly to prevent some EU rules.
A statement from our Commercial Director, Geoff Yates on The Northern Ireland Protocol
“There are so many reasons to be cheerful with the announcement of the newly agreed Northern Ireland Protocol. The financial markets certainly relished it with strong performances reported on the stock exchange on Monday afternoon and Sterling rising rapidly against both the US Dollar and the Euro too.
Brexit is finally done. A full six years after the 2016 referendum an agreement to suit both sides of the separation is certainly welcomed by Northern Ireland.
A good sign of things to come was the sight of the smiling European President, Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, signalling an improvement between the UK and the EU.
In practice, it’s difficult to say what it will mean for the movement of goods from GB to Northern Ireland. The introduction of a “Green lane” for British goods via a trusted trader scheme certainly points to a significant easement but as ever the devil will be in the detail.
From our point of view, at the front line of cross border movements, Mondays announcement regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol and improving UK-EU relations was greatly received.”
More information on the government website
Check out EasyEU
by espaceeurope | Wednesday, 22 April, 2020 | Uncategorised
European road freight market could face 21% drop for the big 5 due to COVID-19
If lock down measures were to continue in the UK, Italy, Spain, France and Germany for most of 2020, we could experience a drop of over 20% in freight levels for the big 5 European countries.
If the lockdown is relaxed over the summer, we could still be looking at over a 5% fall in the road freight market to and from these countries.
The situation has been made worse by checks at most intra-European border crossings as individual EU states impose movement restrictions. A desire also to repatriate Eastern European drivers to their home states has seen a shortage of equipment in many countries.
Larger European hauliers have been hit hard by the sudden closure of nearly all the OEMs, first and second tier automotive companies in the UK and Europe. Fleets have had to be dramatically rationalised to keep costs in check.
The problem we foresee is with the gradual re-starting of different European economies. Will there be sufficient capacity in the haulage system to cope with spikes in demand at different times and in different countries as their economies start to return to pre COVID-19 levels? Only time will tell.
With our vast database of European hauliers, we are well placed to source trailers at short notice. Send your European enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you with a price and availability.
by espaceeurope | Thursday, 9 January, 2020 | Uncategorised
We have received a few calls from customers asking about the 31st January 2020 Brexit deadline.
As long as the Brexit deal is ratified by UK Parliament, we are due to officially leave the EU on 31st January. We will then enter a transition period until 31st December 2020. Currently as we stand this will be the date our current free trade agreement ends and our new deal starts.
There has been much speculation as to whether a new trade agreement can be agreed in 11 months and if a no deal could still be the eventual outcome. The transition period can be extended by a further 2 years but we will need to request this extension by July 2020.
No additional paperwork requirements will be needed till 1st January 2021 or the end of any agreed extension period. Its hard to believe that we will get a similar free trade deal to the one we currently have. A trade deal will make the requirement for paperwork a necessity. So, it’s not really a question of if additional customs paperwork will be introduced but when it will be.
For more information on how Brexit will affect your European shipping, just visit our Brexit page.
by espaceeurope | Tuesday, 7 August, 2018 | Uncategorised
Whilst most imports bans make a whole lot of sense when it comes to things like weapons and drugs. Other import bans can be a little harder to understand and come across as somewhat bizarre. Below are a few of the bizarre import bans from around the globe.
Chewing Gum Is Not Allowed in Singapore
People who are found to be with chewing gum face fines of up to $100,000 (SGD) and a prison sentence.
Banned Baby Walkers in Canada
Canadians caught with baby walkers or caught selling baby walkers can face fines up to $100,000 (CAD).
Haggis Banned in The United States
Since 1971 haggis is illegal to import in the US. Sheep’s lungs, a key ingredient of haggis is banned by America’s food standards agency.
Lightbulbs in Australia and Cuba
Incandescent lightbulbs are banned in Australia after a law was passed in 2007. Similarly, Cuba banned all import of the lightbulbs in 2005.
Fancy Dress Masks in Saudi Arabia
Due to the movie ‘V’ for Vendetta Saudi Arabia in 2013 have banned Guy Fawkes’ masks. The mask became a popular way for protesters to protest and retain their anonymity.