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8 hours ago, alt-92 said:

...which I think is a bit naive as consumer. You can bet on 'trickle-down' effects - businesses are not charities.

 

I was thinking in terms of changes to import regulations for private consumers, which seem to have caught a lot of people out. There was very little effort to forewarn people about this compared to the effort put into advising businesses to prepare.

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On 1/29/2021 at 6:41 AM, Tim R-T-C said:

I was thinking in terms of changes to import regulations for private consumers, which seem to have caught a lot of people out. There was very little effort to forewarn people about this compared to the effort put into advising businesses to prepare.

I can only agree.  Too little effort put into telling Joe and Jane Public that the cosy and relatively simple world of shopping on eBay, Alibaba, Amazon Marketplace and Any Other Store In The World was going to change significantly.  It was all about the business effects.  Unfortunately when you sit at the top of the ivory tower it can be hard to see the little people at the bottom.

 

As for cost increases for UK stock that is perhaps inevitable.  As noted earlier, the businesses we buy from are not charities and if they can't make a living they won't survive.  Then where do we turn?  Every link in the supply chain adds cost, in most cases for us in the modelling world without adding any value.  From my experiences in the Defence world I would not be surprised to find that 50-60% of the prices we pay are made up of handling charges and profits in the supply chain.  And "brand premiums".  How come newer Trumpeter and AFV Club kits cost so much when other brands are producing much the same quality for half the price?  As the old Stella Artois advert used to say, "reassuringly expensive"!

 

There are significant opportunities for UK sellers to increase the range of brands they stock and the depth of stock held. Things that were hard or impossible to find in the UK.  But that requires a good deal of capital outlay, and now for goods from the EU significantly more admin.

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Mark up. Now that's novel. I was at a modelling show a few years back, and bought a new kit off a well known trader for £20. I said to him 'that's cheap'. He said 'look what the Importer is retailing them for'. I did, as they were 2 stalls down. £62.

Same kit, and the guy I bought off had made his profit over wholesale price from the importer.

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Hannants have sent out their weekly news sheet. It covers their EU export trade and an update on Squadron. I'll cut and paste if the mods don't mind:

 

Message; It is sad news that after more than 50 years Squadron MMD has declared bankruptcy. We just received a delivery from them but this does mean we will not be receiving anymore True Details, Avionix, Superscale, Eagle Strike or Squadron tools etc. All our remaining stock has been moved into Limited Availability. Be quick if you want any. Squadron Signal books are supplied to us by the UK importer but we expect them to also sell out over the next few week. We have just removed more than 40 with 0 stock from our website.


There are still problems with sending parcels to the EU. To date only 3 parcels we sent have been delivered. Some are still in England. Some are in europe. We cannot find out what the problems are but suspect it is incorrect paperwork.

We are very sorry but we cannot start taking orders knowing that these problems exist. We are going to have to wait longer before we can re-open for EU orders but we cannot say when that will be. We cannot feed 100s of orders a day into a system that is not working knowing they may not go anywhere.

Also bizarrely the new Royal Mail system can only accept parcels with 20 items or less in them. More than half the orders we send have more than 21 items in them. Parcelforce can take packages with any quantity of contents. So somehow our website now needs to be modified so that if customer wants 20 items they see the Royal Mail/Parcelforce postage options but if there are more than 20 items they only get the Parcelforce option. We do not want to start work on that change at the moment.

We are no longer able to reply to emails asking when we will be opening up for EU orders. We are sorry but we do not know and we have no way to find out. Please see the message on the home page for the latest information.


DPD is still a problem and there has been little progress. Though we have found out that DPD wants to include a companies EORI numbers in their paperwork but the EU no longer recognises the EORI numbers of UK companies even though they have been in use for years and they have removed the website that companies use to find and check them.

Transport companies have been making updates to their systems all year. This was happening anyway and was little to do with Brexit other than an expected increase in parcels being sent. The idea is that all invoices go thru the internet to the countries postal customs. So they can see the value of the contents and any duty or tax can be calculated automatically. Rather than unpeeling an invoice from the box and and doing it all with a calculator. The problem here is that they cannot get it to work properly yet. These systems are also now having to be modified now with the new rules following the Brexit agreement on Christmas Eve. Different countries seem to have different requirements and it is difficult if not impossible to find out what they all are.

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We've found out that Italy require us to make a statement to the effect our goods have no Radioactive contamination whereas the rest of the EU don't. Where's the common in that?

 

Fortunatelt we don't export kits.

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13 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:


DPD is still a problem and there has been little progress. Though we have found out that DPD wants to include a companies EORI numbers in their paperwork but the EU no longer recognises the EORI numbers of UK companies even though they have been in use for years and they have removed the website that companies use to find and check them.

 

 

This was one of the things that was not made clear initially,  that if you have an EORI number starting GB you have to additionally register an EU EORI number.   Dont blame DPD for this, they're stuck with having to apply the rules handed down to them....

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21 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

Too little effort put into telling Joe and Jane Public that the cosy and relatively simple world of shopping on eBay, Alibaba, Amazon Marketplace and Any Other Store In The World was going to change significantly.

Are you serious?

I'm not even in the UK and I heard the screaming from here...

I even did some screaming myself..

21 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

There are significant opportunities for UK sellers to increase the range of brands they stock

As opposed to the opportunities they had before? What do you mean exactly?

 

14 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

but the EU no longer recognises the EORI numbers of UK companies even though they have been in use for years

Newsflash for Hannants, the UK is no longer a member of the EU even though they were for years. Leave means leave and all that...

 

14 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

This was happening anyway and was little to do with Brexit

Another Newsflash for Hannants; if its nothing to do with Brexit how come it doesn't affect trade between the 27 members who didn't leave the club?

 

Regardless, it appears that my days of ordering from Hannants are long gone. To be honest, I won't miss them much as I can pretty much get what I want from the dozens of Polish, German and French mail order shops, sometimes even cheaper.

Even with the VAT free rates, its just going to be cheaper and more straightforward from the mainland EU rather than the UK. 

 

I will miss Hiroboy, the range and quality of service was second to none, but Spotmodel has a similar range, including Zero paints, albeit a little pricier. This last point is moot now as the charges and hassle importing from Hiroboy will make it uncompetitive. 

 

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On 1/30/2021 at 1:20 PM, bentwaters81tfw said:

Mark up. Now that's novel. I was at a modelling show a few years back, and bought a new kit off a well known trader for £20. I said to him 'that's cheap'. He said 'look what the Importer is retailing them for'. I did, as they were 2 stalls down. £62.

Same kit, and the guy I bought off had made his profit over wholesale price from the importer.

 

The chances are that your Trader didn't get that stock from the UK Importer but got it from another source at a cheaper Trade price or because the UK Importer won't deal with non 'Bricks and mortar' Traders** (see below).

3 hours ago, IanHx said:

 

This was one of the things that was not made clear initially,  that if you have an EORI number starting GB you have to additionally register an EU EORI number.   Dont blame DPD for this, they're stuck with having to apply the rules handed down to them....

 

One of the few pieces of actual information that was on the UK. Gov website earlier last year was that UK businesses (that import and export to the EU) would need to get an EORI number if they didn't already have one or if the one they had didn't start with "GB". Now the EU doesn't recognise the "GB" EORI numbers, you couldn't make this up. Honestly, it feels like I'm living in some sort of parallel world where the rules are written by the script writers of 1970's British Farce. I now fully expect the PM's trousers are going to fall down mid Press conference every time I see him on TV :)

 

I have been holding off buying stock in from my European Suppliers since the middle of December but have recently just made a small order to test the waters. I am not VAT registered and all the information on the UKGov website is aimed at businesses that are VAT registered so we'll see what happens at the border. What I expect to happen is that it will be treated in a similar manner to things I have previously imported from the Far East etc in that the Courier will request payment of the VAT due plus a handling fee before delivery. What I'm not sure about is whether there will be any tariffs applied as the "Point of Origin" for most Brands of plastic kits these days is from outside of the EU in the first instance. The results of this "test piece" could have a significant impact on the stock I can carry moving forward. One thing though that is obvious, the shipping has doubled!

As an aside, the reason I have to import some stock from outside the UK is that many of the UK Importers won't deal with my business because I don't have a 'bricks and mortar' shop**, how very quaintly last Century!

 

Duncan B

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3 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

 

I have been holding off buying stock in from my European Suppliers since the middle of December but have recently just made a small order to test the waters. I am not VAT registered and all the information on the UKGov website is aimed at businesses that are VAT registered so we'll see what happens at the border. What I expect to happen is that it will be treated in a similar manner to things I have previously imported from the Far East etc in that the Courier will request payment of the VAT due plus a handling fee before delivery. What I'm not sure about is whether there will be any tariffs applied as the "Point of Origin" for most Brands of plastic kits these days is from outside of the EU in the first instance. The results of this "test piece" could have a significant impact on the stock I can carry moving forward.

 

 

Will be interested to hear how it goes.  If over £135   then I would expect it to be exactly as you outline.

If under £135....    who knows ?   

:popcorn:

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I placed a test order for my business on the 14th of January. My main supplier is based in Thailand and as the order was around fifty quid’s worth of parts, I fully expected not only a significant delay, but the usual ransom note from RM.

 The order came through in around two weeks and I didn’t have to pay anything. I suspect I was just really lucky here.

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31 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

 

As an aside, the reason I have to import some stock from outside the UK is that many of the UK Importers won't deal with my business because I don't have a 'bricks and mortar' shop**, how very quaintly last Century!

 

Duncan B


As if having a lease on a bricks and mortar shop stopped a business failing or being less of a commercial risk !  Looking at the number of failed businesses that had retail street presence and failed it’s a mindset that needs changing

 

I see from the BBC that the U K is applying to join a free trade area that from a hobby perspective might be interesting as it includes Japan among others. It might also include the USA in due course depending on the new administration there.  I am not sure how the existing UK and Japanese arrangements would change 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55871373
 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, JohnT said:


As if having a lease on a bricks and mortar shop stopped a business failing or being less of a commercial risk !  Looking at the number of failed businesses that had retail street presence and failed it’s a mindset that needs changing

 


 

 

 

I've done the figures on getting a shop quite a few times (as I'm not against having one) but it was obvious that in this part of the world a shop would be nothing more than a slow bleed to death for my business.

 

Duncan B

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8 minutes ago, JohnT said:


As if having a lease on a bricks and mortar shop stopped a business failing or being less of a commercial risk !  Looking at the number of failed businesses that had retail street presence and failed it’s a mindset that needs changing

 

I see from the BBC that the U K is applying to join a free trade area that from a hobby perspective might be interesting as it includes Japan among others. It might also include the USA in due course depending on the new administration there.  I am not sure how the existing UK and Japanese arrangements would change 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55871373
 

 

 

 

14 hours ago, IanHx said:

oh well.   Will TPP membership make Hasegawa kits any cheaper/easier to get hold of, I wonder?

 

Don't forget that the EU (and therefore UK) had a largely free trade deal with Japan before so we probably wouldn't see any change.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47086737
 

 

2 hours ago, roym said:

Are you serious?

I'm not even in the UK and I heard the screaming from here...

I even did some screaming myself..

 

 

But there was nothing on an official level. Every radio ad break in the run up to the New Year had a Government funded advert advising business of essential changes. I also saw lots of ads on social media all aimed at business.

 

But for the average consumer no information was provided and while those of us more aware of such things were discussing the implications, a lot simply had no idea (proven by the amount of reports in the news as linked previously in this discussion).

 

I suspect a lot of this was due to the extreme polarisation of the issue that meant any serious discussion of the positive or negative economic issues caused by Brexit were instantly overtaken by political dispute.

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6 hours ago, Duncan B said:

One of the few pieces of actual information that was on the UK. Gov website earlier last year was that UK businesses (that import and export to the EU) would need to get an EORI number if they didn't already have one or if the one they had didn't start with "GB". Now the EU doesn't recognise the "GB" EORI numbers, you couldn't make this up

for clarity's sake:

EORI=  Economic Operators Registration and Identification.

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/customs-procedures/general-overview/economic-operators-registration-identification-number-eori_en

EORI's may still be in use in UK but the scope of the agreement and use was always EU member states.


Also (Dutch Taxman):

https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/customs/eori/eori-number/assignment_of_eori_number/assignment_of_eori_number

 

Quote

Economic operators from third countries may apply for an EORI number themselves in one of the member states in which they are active using the application form for an EORI number for companies headquartered outside the European Union. That EORI number is valid in all countries of the European Union (EU). 

 

Bit like the VAT stuff - you will need an EU based agent then.

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9 hours ago, roym said:

As opposed to the opportunities they had before? What do you mean exactly?

There have been many brands not stocked in the UK and many of those that have been stocked have been limited in range and depth.  Particularly after market items.  I won't use any names to avoid embarrasment but there are "UK stockists" who have a quarter or less of brand ranges on stock, and often only 1 item deep.  Why?  Partly because they have been undercut on price in Europe even with higher shipping costs, and partly because accessing that cheapern market directly for consumers has beern so simple that keeping better range and depth has been uneconomic.  Until a month ago.

 

If more stuff had been available in the UK then I might not have spent so much with stores in Poland and Ukraine over the last few years that I get personal discounts.  I bought a whole heap of stuff before Christmas - several hundred euros worth - and less than 10% of what I wanted was even available in the UK.  And even then it was spread across half a dozen stores with half a dozen shipping charges.  I got everything I wanted from 2 stores in Germany and 1 in Poland.

 

Re the Dutch point,19 (currently) of the 27 EU members require sellers from outside the EU to appoint in-country agents who are financially responsible for making good any tax and duty infractions.

 

As for Joe and Jane Consumer, most people are more concerned about the convenience of holidays - which is why the "VAT rip-off" makes it to consumer programmes on TV.  They have no idea.  But to be fair we've all had a lot else on our minds for the last year.

 

As for the Pacific trade bloc we already have trade deals with about half of them, but we do more business with Germany than with all of them.  Or so the BBC said.  Tne Commonwealth would seem to be an ideal organisation in which to form a trading group.  But perhaps not much direct use for us modellers.

 

There is a gloriously simple answer if WTO would take if forward.  Sales tax is always paid in the country of the seller.  Period.  No international sales tax wrangles. But about a third of the world doesn't use it. Of course there would be carping from those countries who do (the richer ones) about the perceived advantages gained by those who don't (predominantly poorer ones) or those who levy lesser rates.  But as a basic principle why should the UK get sales tax on things I buy abroad?  Shouldn't it go to that country?  International supply chains will complain, but if I'm BMW building Minis at Cowley then I know I've paid tax on my EU-sourced parts and I only charge VAT on the value I've added in the UK.  This whole international tax and duty system is essentially Victorian, if not Georgian, and is inherently protectionist - and is not fit for the 21st century.  Hobby Horse stabled.........

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A constantly changing scenario......... if this came to pass, who knows if it would make any difference. (This is referred to by @JohnT above - it appears to be different to the EU-Japan agreements and is in fact the former TPP under another name).

 

A year after it formally left the European Union, the British government said on Saturday (local time) that it wants to join the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which removes most tariffs between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. 

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is set to speak to officials in Japan and New Zealand on Monday to formally make the request. Negotiations are expected to commence this year.

The government says joining the partnership would deepen ties with fast-growing economies, including Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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13 hours ago, alt-92 said:

for clarity's sake:

EORI=  Economic Operators Registration and Identification.

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/customs-procedures/general-overview/economic-operators-registration-identification-number-eori_en

EORI's may still be in use in UK but the scope of the agreement and use was always EU member states.


Also (Dutch Taxman):

https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/customs/eori/eori-number/assignment_of_eori_number/assignment_of_eori_number

 

 

Bit like the VAT stuff - you will need an EU based agent then.

 

That all makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why HMRC would be telling businesses during the transition period that they need to get an EORI number to continue importing from the EU after Brexit which is why I went ahead and registered for one. I don't export as I stopped international sales a couple of years ago (thank goodness!).

I suspect that HMRC were expecting the UK to still be included in the scheme after Brexit or that it would still have some sort of relevance with regards to importing from EU.

 

Duncan B

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21 hours ago, lasermonkey said:

I placed a test order for my business on the 14th of January. My main supplier is based in Thailand and as the order was around fifty quid’s worth of parts, I fully expected not only a significant delay, but the usual ransom note from RM.

 The order came through in around two weeks and I didn’t have to pay anything. I suspect I was just really lucky here.

 

For private buyers this will likely be the future, and it's something that for me has been a constant over the years: with so much stuff travelling across all countries, private deliveries may or not go through customs depending on luck and a few other things. One delivery may be stopped and VAT requested while the next one may just go through unnoticed. The truth is that custom offices all over the world would likely struggle to check everything, something will always get through unchecked.

This of course doesn't mean that we should expect to be lucky all the times, ideally we should think the opposite and consider that our package may be checked and all the relevant fees applied.

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3 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

A constantly changing scenario......... if this came to pass, who knows if it would make any difference. (This is referred to by @JohnT above - it appears to be different to the EU-Japan agreements and is in fact the former TPP under another name).

 

A year after it formally left the European Union, the British government said on Saturday (local time) that it wants to join the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which removes most tariffs between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. 

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss is set to speak to officials in Japan and New Zealand on Monday to formally make the request. Negotiations are expected to commence this year.

The government says joining the partnership would deepen ties with fast-growing economies, including Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam.

 

I'm not sure this will impact modellers much, the scope of the TPP is the removal of tariffs and import duties but these on model kits are already zero in most places. It will make trade easier for sure but these are the kind of treaties that impact steel, agricultural products and the like. And even with a similar treaty, VAT will be subject to the existing rules.

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Today was the day of my scheduled phone appointment with HMRC. I kept all evening free (even though I had plenty of work to do), but guess what? No one called.

I went again onto the web chat and two separate agents passed the buck, neither assuming responsibility to either solve the problem or tell me why I didn't get the call...

Starting to have enough of this.

J

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Judging from the latest Hannants e-mail newsletter I'd say that a bit of frustration is setting in. It does appear that the postal and courier systems are struggling with the change in relationship between the UK and EU to the extent that things are being returned or just plain disappearing.:blink:

 

Doesn't look like they're going to risk taking orders from EU based customers until things settle down.

 

Mike.

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On the plus side, at least its not chile:

 

For any package over 30USD

- you pay 6% on the total value of item (plus shipping and insurance )

- then you pay 19% on total value of the item (thats value of item PLUS the 6% above!!!)

 

😭

 

 

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I have tried to conform to UK regulations but the HMRC registration process is a nightmare - I am afraid Caracal Models will have to stop shipping to the UK starting this weekend, or require a minimum order of  $180.

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Unfortunately our organisation does not have the resources to set up a UK tax office so we are only shipping to the UK when the customer agrees to pay the tax. A note is appended here. As the regulations (and our understanding of them) change we are certainly flexible about changing this.

 

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