The uncertainty surrounding the withdrawal agreement put forward by the government makes it difficult to assess whether the United Kingdom will exit the European Union with or without a deal. Consequently, there is currently no concrete information available about the future trade arrangements with the EU.
At C4 Logistics we are aware that a “No Deal Brexit” has the potential to be disruptive for the supply chain. For this reason, we have been pro-actively preparing for this possibility over the last 12months, to ensure any disruption to our clients will be kept to a minimum.
This communication details some of the preparations we have made to ensure we are best placed to continue to provide the service you expect, whatever the Brexit outcome.
Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status
C4 Logistics has been certified AEO since 2012 for customs simplification, security and safety. This certification is official acknowledgement that our role within the international supply chain is secure and our customs controls and procedures are both efficient and compliant. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officials regularly assess our company’s finances, site security, shipping procedures, compliance with customs requirements and fulfilment of the relevant legal and safety regulations.
The benefits of being AEO certified include simplified customs declarations, transit simplifications and priority treatment of consignments if selected for control. As a result, our clients will benefit from a reduced risk of customs delays, greater transparency and peace of mind.
Customs declarations and documentation
C4 Logistics is implementing a state-of-the-art, high performance customs clearance platform called Sequoia. Sequoia is the leading UK customs system supplied by ASM, providing connections to customs and the port community systems. Through this platform, C4 Logistics can now create and manage customs declarations and documentation.
Senior staff members have recently undertaken a Customs Competency course: “Customs in Action – Practical Compliance” provided by Morley Consulting Training Ltd, London. During this intensive week-long course, every aspect of the customs declaration process was reviewed, and staff competency assessed. This additional training will allow us to help our clients with completing the necessary procedures while continuing to provide a pertinent and valuable premium customer service.
Crossings to and from the Continent
Since its creation in 2001, C4 Logistics has established and maintained strong partnerships with ferry companies and Eurotunnel. Regarding the main links between the United Kingdom and France (Dover/Folkestone – Calais/Dunkirk), we work with P&O ferries, DFDS and Eurotunnel. C4 Logistics is currently Eurotunnel’s main UK customer for van crossings. This special relationship allows us to benefit from guaranteed crossing capacity at peak-times.
The Calais and Dunkirk crossings remain the shortest and most frequent, these are therefore the most effective for our clients’ needs. There are currently 100 daily crossings with crossing times ranging from 35 minutes to 2 hours.
In comparison, there are only three daily sailings from Newhaven to Dieppe with a crossing time of 4 hours and three daily sailings from Portsmouth to Caen with a crossing time of five hours and 45minutes. These are currently the only two alternative crossings running with a frequency of more than one sailing per day.
Crossings to Holland and Belgium operate twice daily and crossing times vary from 7 hours to 15hours and 45 minutes. These sailings are not currently suitable for time critical shipments as they do require advance bookings.
In December, the government announced it was awarding £102.9m to three crossing providers. This funding will create extra capacity to ease congestion at Dover if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal. We are still waiting for specifics on how these investments will translate to increased capacities and potential new routes.
C4 Logistics will of course remain attentive to all crossings to the Continent in order to assess the best options for our clients.
All time critical shipments carried to and from Europe, on behalf of our clients, are transported by approved European suppliers permanently resident in European member states. In the event of a “No Deal Brexit”, there are currently no restrictions on EU drivers being able to drive in the UK. The latest no-deal communication states that “The UK does not require EU drivers to hold a separate IDP (International Driving Permit) to guarantee the recognition of their driving licence”.
Brexit impact on our business
Since 2012, C4 Logistics has been increasing its footprint in Europe. Today, we have 7 offices in 6 countries (France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania and the UK) offering total coverage across Europe. Most of our customers are now based outside of the UK with the UK only representing 19% of the C4 Group’s total turnover and gross margin. In the future we anticipate the UK share in our Group results will continue to reduce thanks to the rapid expansion we are currently experiencing in our other European offices. Although we are actively preparing for a “No Deal Brexit”, our European ambitions over the next few years and our strong financial health means we are extremely confident about our future.
Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
Finally, as a preventive measure and if you have not done so already, we encourage you to register for your EORI number at www.gov.uk/hmrc/get-eori.
We hope this communication will answer all the questions you may have regarding our readiness in case of a “No Deal Brexit” and will also give you the confidence that we will continue providing our clients with the highest level of service excellence for all their time critical logistics requirements.
However, should you need any further information, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Of course, we will keep you updated once we have a better understanding on the future trade arrangements with the EU.