Supply Chain  – Beware the trip hazard in your business 


Despite all of the gloom, doom and bickering, over the Free Trade Deal negotiations, a deal is still possible.  

I would caution, however, that there is a general consensus of opinion among some businesses that, if there is a trade deal, we won’t have to worry about customs declarations and all of the accompanying paperwork. 

Customs Declarations 

This is NOT the case. The Free Trade Agreement is about tariffs not customs declarations.  

I cannot impress upon you enough how important it is, if you export to or import from the EU for you to have a complete awareness and understanding of the administrative tasks that you will need to complete.  


This applies to not just your export/import personnel but also, senior management, the negotiating team (ensuring correct Incoterms are in place), the legal team, insurance teams, finance department. 

Supply Chain 

And, of course, your supply chain. Don’t let them be the trip hazard in your business. Make sure they’ve got all their ducks in a row too! 

Commodity codes 

As an example, commodity codes that you use on the documentation must be accurate.   

It has become the habit of some traders when dealing with the EU to just use the first commodity code on the list when dealing with Europe.  

 You may be interested to know that the “default” commodity code that has been used means that the UK has shipped more pure-bred stallions than have ever actually existed in the UK! 

 Customs brokers

And whilst you may have customs brokers, freight forwarders and shipping agents who will do all they can to assist you, the responsibility for correct and timely paperwork is yours, the trader. 

 The UK is currently trying to hire and train 50,000 customs brokers to deal with the shortfall. 

Government Training Grant

The government has provided a £50 million grant for export/import training, to enable companies to learn about customs paperwork. Some of that fund will also pay for you to employ new staff specifically to handle exports and imports.  

 In addition, you can also claim for any new IT systems that you may need to cover the new declarations 

 This means that any training costs can be recovered. 


Linda Bazant LLB (Hons)

Linda Bazant LLB (Hons)


Linda is a regular speaker and panellist for Richmond Events and is a Transition adviser and online trainer for Surrey Chambers of Commerce. Events include: The EUGDPR Global Conference,  Data Protection World Forum,  Scope TV programme on IndusDotNews, Business Connections Live and LBC. She continues to be a Transition keynote speaker and panel member in addition to providing consultancy, bespoke training and regular webinars for her clients.

Linda Bazant is an Entrepreneur and Barrister. She is a member of Gray’s Inn and the Bar Association of Commerce and Finance in Industry (BACFI). Linda is also an affiliate member of The Institute of Export & International Trade. Linda specializes in compliance and corporate governance, she advises major blue-chip companies on the implementation of legal process and procedures.