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Solving the customs conundrum for Irish businesses

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According to the Central Statistics Office Ireland, exports to Great Britain were down by five percent to €1.2bn in February 2024 compared to the previous year.

As Irish exporting businesses continue to grapple with a changing trade climate, Britain’s leading European road freight expert Europa Road is launching its unique DDP service, Europa Flow, on all daily routes between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

Europa Road has invested over €1m in its infrastructure in Ireland. This includes establishing a dedicated team at Dublin Airport Central, customs brokerage teams on both sides of the Irish Sea, and its unique Money Back Guarantee on all European shipments.

From June 2024, Europa Flow, a service which ships goods using Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) incoterms, will be available to all Irish exporters allowing them to better serve their British markets.

Andrew Baxter, Chief Executive Officer of Europa Worldwide Group, said: “Irish exports to the Britain are worth an estimated €17bn – making it one of the most important trading relationships.

“However, since Britain is no longer a part of the EU’s Customs Union, the process of transporting goods to and from Ireland is more complex for Irish businesses.

“As a result, transit times have become longer and the additional customs paperwork required has had costly and time-critical implications for all companies who have customers in Britain, and who aren’t equipped with the infrastructure to adjust to new rules.

“Furthermore, given that 97 percent of Irish companies exporting to Britain are SMEs, these customs complexities pose a significant extra burden onto those smaller businesses who are less likely to have the necessary resources and expertise to adjust to the new rules.

“Europa Flow is the first service of its kind for the Irish market. Offering a unique combination of DDP, postponed VAT accounting and anticipated declarations, we can offer faster transit times, lower costs and no administrative headaches. Shipping on these unique DDP terms appeals to Irish exporters because it means that everything can be taken care of without the need to contact their customer in Britain”.

Having initially launched in 2021 to serve companies moving goods between Britain and mainland EU, Europa Flow has successfully delivered over 300,000 DDP consignments, providing a seamless transportation of goods between the two regions. Europa Road, which operates Britain’s largest European groupage hub in Dartford, GB, now ships more than 50 per cent of its consignments using this innovative service.

A Scotland-based manufacturer, based in Glasgow, recently trialled Europa Flow on its exports to Ireland, saying: “The new DDP service from Europa has been well received by our current Irish customers, in that the admin burden imposed on them has significantly decreased. It has also reopened some customer conversations that have been closed since Brexit occurred.”

Adrian Redmile, Branch and Sales Director at Europa Worldwide Group said: “A report by the FTAI (Freight Transport Association of Ireland) suggests that the main challenge of the new Brexit landscape, complete with multiple documents and IT systems has only now been fully appreciated. This is why, over the last three years we have has invested over €1m in our Irish infrastructure, and more than €5m in Europa Flow and a Money Back Guarantee to better support local customers.

“Europa Flow now provides a truly seamless service into Great Britain for many businesses across Ireland. These companies recognise that they cannot gamble their reputations by risking delays to deliveries emanating from incomplete paperwork, or disputes over the payment of VAT and customs duties.

“The service is proven to removing these issues and return the market to pre-Brexit transit times. We are also the only provider based in Ireland offering a Money Back Guarantee on all Europa Flow shipments. This unique offer will ensure full refunds for consignments not delivered on time.”

Europa Road provides market leading European road freight services. Its network of 18 sales branches, which includes the company’s site at Dublin Airport Central, manage the shipments of goods into Dartford, from where freight connects with daily, direct services to continental hubs.

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