Thursday 8 April 2021 9:15 am

Brexit: EU online deliveries to UK have halved

Online deliveries to the UK from Europe have plunged 50.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, according to e-commerce shipping platform Sendcloud.

New shipping requirements and extra VAT costs have drastically cut EU to UK shipments compared to the final quarter of last year.

The new data has stressed the delivery issues online retailers and Scottish fishermen alike have faced in recent months, as the new post-Brexit rules stoke delivery complications.

“Brexit shouldn’t stop retailers from buying and shipping abroad, yet it’s clear from these results that many retailers are struggling to overcome post-Brexit delivery issues. As a result, consumers are much less likely to buy internationally,” Sendcloud CEO and Co-founder, Rob van den Heuvel, said.

In March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that imports from the EU fell by £6.6bn in January 2021.

Total import of goods, excluding precious metals, also fell by £8.9bn in what ONS called the “largest monthly falls since records began in January 1997.”

Sendcloud’s data found that 51 per cent of UK consumers were put off from buying internationally because of the inflated delivery costs.

A further 38 per cent cited potential customs charges for the reason why they would not buy from the EU and 32 per cent wanted to avoid the lengthy delivery times.

“To continue smooth international trade to our European neighbours, it’s important for UK retailers to streamline their international shipping. A futureproof strategy requires a thorough understanding of international trade rules and the impact they will have on day-to-day operations,” van den Heuvel explained.

“When moving goods between the UK and EU, remember to have an EORI number and add a Commercial Invoice, as well as a CN22 or CN23 depending on the chosen carrier. Preparing for local VAT and duty policies is also necessary as many consumers and retailers have already been caught out from additional charges.”