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Brexit – Are You Ready?

October 2020 - Customer update on Brexit

Together we keep Europe and your business moving!

Brexit has happened! From the 1st of January 2021, trade between the EU and the UK will require customs export and import declarations, with some goods requiring additional checks.

To ensure minimum risk against any delays, we have invested heavily to provide an “end to end” service for our customers including import and export declarations and the management of any additional border controls and checks.

Watch our latest Customer Webinar:

DB Schenker is preparing to support through Brexit – Oliver Bohm (Chief Commercial Officer Europe), Chris Clayton (Brexit Program Lead), Julie Heard (Chief Commercial Officer Cluster UK & IE) and Ray Hennessy (Cluster CEO UK & IE) give an insight on the road ahead, when it comes to Brexit preparedness.

Brexit was first due to happen on March 31 last year. It was postponed until October 31 and delayed again after that. There was a lot of urgent activity for the “first two Brexits” – and many organizations weren’t ready and breathed a sigh of relief when it was postponed.

Brexit officially occurred on January 31, 2020, and the new trading relationship between the EU and the UK will begin on January 1, 2021 – this is the current status.

Many people are still wondering whether there will be a "hard Brexit". The answer is yes! The real question is how hard it will be.

A "soft Brexit” (UK remains as part of the EU Single Market or the Customs Union) will not happen, and it is very important to understand that customs declarations will be required from January 1, 2021.

What “no deal” means: With or without a trade deal, customs declarations and the paperwork and compliance that goes with them will be required from January 1, 2021.

To check if you are ready for Brexit, it’s important to compare your current flow of goods with the process that will occur after the end of the transition period.

Here is an example of the process for a shipment from Italy to the UK which will no longer be possible after January 1, 2021:

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Starting January 1, the transport of goods must follow this process example:

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What is most important?

  • Responsibilities lie with different parties in the chain, which can cause confusion, complications, mistakes, and delays.
  • Fortunately, the team at DB Schenker can help you perform all of these steps and minimize the risk of disruption to your supply chain.

Customs declarations stopped between EU member states in 1993 and many people have forgotten what they involve. As a global logistics provider, however, DB Schenker has continued to work in the world of customs and has a knowledgeable and skilled customs team in every country we operate in. Because of this, we already have the licenses we need to be able to complete customs declarations at each of our locations and also open and close transit documents, perform simplified procedures, operate bonded and excise warehouses and, where appropriate, defer payment of VAT and duty.


January 2021 - Customer update on Brexit

As a global company engaged in transport to or from the UK Brexit will present challenges to your business. DB Schenker understands the complexities these changes will bring and is employing significant resources to ensure the continuity of our market leading services.

It is of the utmost importance that we approach the Brexit challenges in genuine partnership with you as the success that we both seek is interdependent.

We at DB Schenker have been engaged in detailed preparations for the past two years including the setup of a pan-European Brexit taskforce.

Following the EU and UK negotiation culminating in the signing of the withdrawal agreement the UK left the EU on the first of the 1st of February 2020. During the transition period until the 31st of December 2020, there is no change in the trade formalities between both economic parties.

The possibility of a further extension elapsed on the 30th of June 2020 and the UK will exit the current trade agreement with the EU by the 31st of December 2020. At this point in time, there is no agreement to govern the post Brexit trade relationship between the EU and the UK. It is also unclear about the status of freight moving between GB and Northern Ireland.

From the 1st of January 2021 there will be significant changes to the trading relationship between both parties. These changes will lead to new trade regulations and customs procedures.

Businesses in the EU and the UK must, therefore be prepared for new customs processes and procedures at the end of the transition period regardless of the outcome of the negotiations regarding the future partnership.

The following steps will help our customers prepare to minimize possible Brexit ramifications:

  • Review your business, if you have not already done so, to understand what impact Brexit will have on your EU supply chain.
  • Keep up to date with the political situation regarding Brexit and the effects it will have on your Brexit planning.
  • Share client/consignee Proof of Attorney with DB Schenker, or generate in designated local customs system as soon as possible (this is a legal requirement in many Countries).
  • Make sure your partners are providing the required information on their commercial documentation to allow a Customs declaration to be made.
  • Review your own commercial documentation and ensure it provides the information required to allow a Customs declaration to be made.
  • For IE into the UK, check what UK procedures your Importer is intending to use.
  • Advise DB Schenker of Authorizations you have in place with Customs.
  • Advise DB Schenker of potential Modal shifts that you are considering i.e. from the road to airfreight.
  • Speak to your trading partners about the information they supply on their documentation (relevant to Customs requirements).
  • Advise DB Schenker if you intend to use postponed VAT accounting to account for your VAT.

Prices will be defined by costs incurred in each country and we will provide you with comprehensive list of customs services and a pricing matrix shortly.

We have created a Brexit Taskforce and have expanded our project team structure. We currently have a competent group of experts who jointly work on this important project.

This includes:

  • Brexit Program Manager
  • National Brexit Experts
  • Commercial and Transportation Leads (e.g. Sales, Business Services, etc.)
  • IT Project Managers
  • Customs Consultants

The preparations made by the Brexit Taskforce are designed to ease the transition post-Brexit to ensure continuity of service for our customers.

The team is covering a wide range of themes within four main business areas: Customs, Operations, Communications and Commercial. In order to help us to prepare we need to understand your requirements in detail. Your account manager will be your main point of contact.

We are strengthening our operational and customs teams to accommodate the additional workload that will be necessary from 1st of January 2021.

Our core objective is to provide a seamless transport and customs service to and from the UK for all our loyal and perspective customers. DB Schenker will prioritize customs resources towards clients who use our transport services.

In a webinar our Brexit Taskforce Team presented the full contingency plans. Please watch the webinar here.

DB Schenker has the largest network across all of Europe with a multitude of routes and potential crossing points from Europe to the UK. We already have sophisticated procedures for dealing with tunnel and ferry disruptions that allow us to calculate the potential advantages of changing routes should there be a delay at any specific crossing point.

For more information on Brexit you can visit the following pages:

All information will be constantly updated and is supplied without liability!