Today on Amazing FBA, I want to break from the usual routine where an expert guest comes in to discuss a narrow topic about Amazon. I want to speak honestly about something I think is key to UK Sellers: Brexit and the relationship with the Customs Union. I recently spoke at the Payoneer conference in Manchester on this topic, and I believe it’s vital that we discuss it here.
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” – Tim Ferriss
We can pretend the risks don’t exist
We can prepare for all possibilities.
Soft Brexit – The UK stays inside customs union.
Hard Brexit – Including higher tariffs for exports and imports within the framework of a deal struck with the European Union.
No Deal Brexit – Revert to the World Trade Organization standards for trade.
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Maintain the status quo. Most importantly, this could be the situation during the “Transition period” agreed from 2019-2021. A Soft Brexit would provide an amazing opportunity to export from the UK. That’s because the pound will probably be weak against the Euro. Also, we will still be in the Customs Union with no trade barriers. The combination is fantastic for exporters.
In the event of a Hard Brexit, importing and exporting products in and out of the UK may become very hard to do. So what should we do?
On solution is simple: to buy and sell inside the customs union.
Besides being inside the Customs union, a couple of Eastern European countries have a lower minimum wage than China. So by purchasing and selling inside the customs union, you get two wins. Not only can you as the sellers avoid import/export tariffs altogether, but you also get very good value goods.
This strategy could also be applied to the United States, as a way to combat the new import tariffs on Chinese goods. So in other words, you can buy AND sell within the United States.
This is a worst-case scenario. The same sorts of solutions from Scenario C could apply. There will likely be high tariffs on goods brought in and out of the UK, so it may be prudent to skip import/export concerning the UK altogether. Be sure to consider any and all US tariffs on Chinese goods if importing and selling in the US if that is your alternative.