What have we done and how have we prepared?

We audited our supply chain and spoke with our key suppliers. Whilst no one has a crystal ball, all are motivated to take prudent precautions to ensure continuity of supply should their supply chain, European or otherwise, be disrupted. The consensus of opinion is that the real threat is about the delay of product deliveries caused by non-compliant paperwork for goods which are already in transit.It is very likely that paperwork for goods will have to be re-assigned or amended to fall into the new and chosen regulatory regime. It is this issue which is causing the uncertainty and will inevitable cause delay.

The current established practice is that Customs Authorities collect duties by declarations on paperwork directly form importers, exporters or specialist freight forwarding companies. Borders and Customs Authorities already deal with duties from Non-EU Countries and operate under WTO rules, which is the no-deal default and is already an established practice. However, there is still a massive task at hand, as goods which may already been assigned might have to be amended and re-assigned and any dues or duties collected. In theory, the Government can do this without delay at the ports as it is a paperwork exercise. It is questionable whether or not our EU neighbours will cooperate, and this is what could cause the delays in our ports. For instance, our imported coffins and memorial products from India and Bangladesh fall into this category and currently are imported using WTO rules.

Wholesale Products

Alternative Coffins and Memorial Goods: We import from eight non-EU countries at present. Stock has been increased by 30% and we have pulled forward our April and May deliveries into January, February and March.

Manufactured Products

Many of the components are made within the UK. Some however are not; for instance, the chipboard is made in the UK, but the veneer which is laminated on to it is American Oak. Likewise, the wood-effect (foil) papers are German or Japanese but are laminated in Huddersfield. Our ASAP lining sheets are made in Norway, a non-EU country, and are imported with duty applied already. Our coffin furniture comes from Ireland. However, we have spoken to our all suppliers and have been reassured that they have taken steps to mitigate against delays.

Price Stability

We have increased stock in wholesale goods, which is a buffer. We have also forward bought currency to increase our resilience. However, we cannot guarantee that prices will remain unchanged during this period. That said, we can assure you that we do not have any plans to increase prices.

In summary

We have carried out all the necessary due-diligence and put in place, with cost, what we can.

If you have any questions

Please do not hesitate to contact us on brexit@jcatkinson.co.uk and we will try to help with your query.

Kind regards

Julian M Atkinson

Managing Director
JC Atkinson and Son Limited.

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