Supermarket giant Lidl has reportedly indicated that its suppliers will have to foot the potential bill for EU import tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
For goods delivered to Ireland, the German discounter has told British suppliers to be “delivery duty paid-ready” as the government’s October deadline for leaving the EU with or without a deal draws near, the Sunday Times first reported.
A supplier told the newspaper: “Lidl obviously believes we will reach that situation, and what it is saying is it wants us to pay the duty”.
In a statement the grocer said: “We held a number of workshops with our suppliers to ensure they have all necessary information, certification and documentation to avoid any disruption to their respective supply chains.”
It added: “All existing Lidl contracts contain a DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) clause. In an effort to understand the level of preparedness of key UK suppliers we are communicating proactively with them and working together to resolve any potential barriers to supply.”
The discussions are the latest sign of concerns within the retail industry around the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, coming months after many of Britain’s leading retail bosses urged the government of significant short-term disruption to supply chains.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal by the end of October.
Lidl’s share of the grocery market has been rising in recent years, putting pressure on Britain’s “Big Four” grocers that have all been ceding market share to Lidl and fellow German discounter Aldi.