In recent years, trade across the English Channel has gotten a little bit more complicated. There has been the Brexit transition to worry about, as well as all of the problems posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite this, Europe is a vast market that’s well worth tapping into, especially if your business has the potential to be spread across the continent. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges you’ll need to contend with in order to do business in Europe – and overseas in general.
Hurdling political barriers
There can be no doubt that Brexit has produced a sizeable shift in the regulatory environment. If you’re trading overseas, then the chances are that you’ll need to have made a few adjustments to stay on the right side of the rules.
While Brexit might not have created customs tariffs on goods flowing from Britain to Europe, it does mean that you’ll have to present documentation to customs. There have also been changes to the way that VAT is calculated and accounted for, which businesses will need to be aware of.
In Northern Ireland, the situation is slightly more complicated. The country remains part of the customs union when it comes to goods, which is what has helped keep the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic open.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the situation might change, with the government having announced its intention to dispense with the Northern Ireland Protocol and to allow businesses to ignore EU standards for goods being sold in Northern Ireland.
Exchange rates have a tendency to be volatile over time. For a business, trade-in euros will be vulnerable to fluctuations. If the pound becomes devalued relative to the euro, you might find that your goods become more competitive.
Keeping an eye on the rate when you’re calculating costs in the long-term can be difficult – but it’s worth doing if you want to get your pricing right.
Shipping goods from one side of the British Isles to the other can be difficult. But shipping goods across Europe can be even trickier, especially if you’re trading with countries that aren’t part of the customs union. Many of these difficulties can be overcome with the help of the right software and transport technology.
You might find that you have trouble shipping not only goods but personnel. If you need management to make a trip to a foreign territory to supervise a new product launch, for example, you might find that it’s worth the time to arrange your own transport. If you’ve got access to your own air transport, for example, then you won’t be vulnerable to unreliable commercial airliners. Fortunately, you’ll find private jets for hire from reputable firms.