Smooth, tariff free trade my backside!
Since the 1st January, UK companies can no longer charge VAT on goods ordered to be delivered to EU countries. Instead, it is the courier who will have to collect VAT and any import charges at the time of delivery. Of course, the same applies to UK customers buying goods from the EU.
I regularly buy art materials from two UK companies; Jackson's Art Supplies who are based in London and Rosemary & Co Artist's Brushes who are based in Yorkshire.
Jackson's supply possibly the widest range of art materials available online including items of their own brand which are of excellent quality at economical prices.
Rosemary & Co. produce arguably the finest quality handmade brushes at reasonable prices. I've currently got an order for brushes on its way - ordered on the 8th January without VAT.
My order has been stuck at the Post Office's Langley international processing centre for a week. I suspect it is the complications arising from Brexit that are holding it up.
On their website, Rosemary & Co. say, "We have been informed that our EU customers are incurring high VAT rates as well as import duty together with handling and clearing fees ( hidden costs )." They have therefore stopped taking orders for the EU.
I have no idea whether I will be asked to pay extra charges by Correos and if so how much will they be. I am hoping that it will be no more than the VAT I would have paid at the time the order was placed.
Companies like Rosemary & Co. rely upon trade to other countries, the market in the UK is just not large enough to keep them going. In fact Rosemary's biggest market is the US.
Cynical Brexiteers tell UK customers , "not to buy goods from the EU, buy British instead." That's akin to asking people to turn their clocks back to a time when Britain made most of what people bought - we've moved on from then.