The closer we get to the Brexit, the more we read about it. The provisional agreement is around the corner and the whole world is curious for the finale outcome. Nevertheless, logistics service providers are not preparing themselves for what is coming. Import and export between EU countries and Great Britain is slightly decreasing and preparations, like getting the right documents, need to be done. Still no rush in the sector.

Why are we not doing anything?

Brexit experts are warning for radical changes and international trade relevant to the UK shows a decreasing trend. Yet, almost no one is preparing themselves. And if they are, preparation is minimal. What is the reason behind this? Do companies not want to spend any effort before it is 100% sure what is going to happen? Or do they not know where to begin? What is your reason?

Wait and see

Maybe the first reason applies and you are just waiting on what is going to happen. According to experts this is not recommended. A rough Brexit is highly likely and therefore consultancies are setting up checklists. What are the limitations that exporters and importers will have to deal with according to these lists? Think about import tariffs, additional demands regarding safety-, health- and environmental issues, and customs procedures. You might think: customs procedures? In this case, think about border controls, import licenses or export declarations. And if eventually it turns out to be a rough Brexit after all, you need to be very quick to get it done in time.

Not knowing where to begin

The other possibility is that you have no clue where to begin. In the past you made a thought through decision about trading within the EU, because of the free movement of persons and goods. With all the regarding benefits. And then, all of a sudden, the Brexit is served. What to do? You can get one of the beforementioned checklists and follow each step, but doing everything from scratch is easier said than done. Therefore it is recommended to accommodate your (new) customs procedures in customs software of an experienced supplier.

What should you focus on when buying customs software?

Recently, a Dutch logistics website published a thorough article about buying customs software. The first attention that is mentioned is very simple but at least as important: does it match with your custom agency’s system(s)? For example, Dutch customs used to work with Sagitta. But today, AGS3 is used. If your software is not adjusted to their new system, it has no use at all. This way you create even more problems than before. Find out what else you should focus on below.

Functionality and integration

Customs procedures are characterized by their standardization. Is there one tiny aspect that is divergent? Then there is a big chance that the declaration gets disapproved. This is what your (potential) customers care about the most, so they will not have to deal with unforeseen difficulties. If your customs software is seamlessly integrated with your other software solutions, you are certain that you are using the correct information. And this will save you the hassle to enter the same data twice. The extent to which your customs software is adjusted to your WMS or TMS, is a determinative factor for parties to work with you or not. After all, flawless declarations are the priority.

Types of applications

But how can you be sure of flawless declarations? You can tackle a lot if you integrate your applications. There are many software suppliers with multiple applications. But how are these connected to each other? In other words, (how) can you integrate them with your customs software? There are not many parties that offer a palette of applications. Luckily, Boltrics is one of the parties that does. We offer one solution for all our customers and this solution is constructed by modules. The customs module is one of them. This way you can determine yourself what you need, so you can configurate the solution to your processes and the modules to each other. This results in a complete integration between your TMS, WMS and your finance for example.

Possibilities to automate

The demands above will help you to digitize your customs procedures: inserting your tasks into a system. This is a very good first step, especially when you are new in doing business outside the EU. But where digitation stops, automation begins. If you have to deal with customs only once, automation is not necessary. But declarations are often recurring and as stated before characterized by standardization. If recurring, standard declarations part of your business, automation will offer you lots of time and space. So when looking for a software supplier, make sure they offer automation possibilities. For the total financial picture (including labor hours) this can save you a lot.

Want to know more about the Brexit?

As you might know, this week negotiations about the Brexit are in full swing. You can find the latest news here. Does this have consequences for you as a logistics service provider? Then we are happy to help you with these changes.