My carrier has no people available to clear my shipment. What can I do?
"I export concrete ping pong tables to customers in the UK. I collect orders from different customers and deliver them in 1 shipment. I have agreed with my customers that I will deliver under Incoterm® DDP. However, my carrier states that he does not have people available to clear the shipment in the UK. What can I do?”
Since 1 January 2021, the UK is considered a third country. That’s why you have more obligations as a seller when you use the Incoterm® Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). You are responsible, among other things, for the export declaration from the EU, as well as for the declaration for import into the UK.
UK import declaration
You need a UK EORI number when submitting a UK import declaration. You also need a UK VAT number to pay VAT. You submit your import declaration in the British CHIEF system (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight). For this you need specific software. You can find suppliers of this software through the British government.
After submitting your import declaration you pay British VAT. You can authorize someone to do this on your behalf, a Tax Agent. You also pay British import duties. Due to the trade agreement between the EU and the UK, many goods are exempted from import duties or come with a reduction. The condition for this is that your goods are of preferential EU origin.
AlternativesThere are alternatives if you do not want or cannot arrange the DDP delivery yourself. You can agree on a different Incoterm®. If you still want to unburden your customer, Delivered At Place (DAP, in Dutch) or Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU, in Dutch) are good alternatives. The biggest difference between these 2 Incoterms® is that under DPU you also unload the goods. For concrete ping pong tables this can be tricky and DAP may be a better option.
If you do use DDP, engage a logistics service provider, a customs agent, or forwarding agent, who will take care of the declaration for you from the UK. This can be a Dutch service provider or a British one. The Dutch forwarding and logistics organization FENEX (in Dutch) has member lists of Dutch forwarders. The British government has an overview of British service providers.