Firms warned 'Incoterms will become fundamental' as clock ticks down on new EU-to-GB import rules

Thu 28 Oct 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
IOE News

Importers have been warned to prepare for declarations next year and to ensure their EU suppliers are also ready.

Speaking on a webinar about the introduction of new import rules at the start of next year, IOE&IT Academy director Kevin Shakespeare said that if all parties in a goods movement aren’t prepared, “something could go wrong in the supply chain”.

From 1 January 2022, import declarations will need to be completed for all imports entering Britain from the EU.

The easement allowing declarations to be delayed at the point of entry and then completed within six months of the goods entering Britain will end at this point.

‘Incoterms will become fundamental’

“There is a potential for greater delays at the border,” Shakespeare said. “Importers and exporters need to agree their Incoterms. Incoterms will become fundamental”.

International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) are a globally-recognised series of trade terms that set out the responsibilities of both parties in a contract of sale involving the carriage of goods – i.e. the buyer and seller.

Obligations, risks, costs

Published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and updated every ten years – the latest version being Incoterms 2020 – they are intended to take the uncertainty out of trading and simplify contract negotiations for both the buyer and seller.

Incoterms cover the buyer and seller’s:

  • Obligations
  • Risks
  • Costs 

There are 11 Incoterms which establish who is responsible for transport costs and insurance, who handles customs formalities for the goods movement, where goods are picked up from and transported to and who bears the risk in case of loss or damage at each stage of the journey. 

Learn more

You can learn how to use Incoterms effectively on our next Introduction to Incoterms course taking place on Thursday 11 November.

The day-long course covers the correct use of Incoterms to help your business to avoid uncertainty, minimise delays and facilitate smooth operations, transport and payment.

The course includes:

  • Understanding what Incoterms are
  • Learning what each term means
  • How to use them effectively

‘Clock is ticking’

Shakespeare was speaking on a webinar entitled ‘The clock is still ticking – preparations traders need to make for new EU to GB import rules’.

He was joined on the panel by:

  • Shanker Singham – chief executive of Computere and a partner at Digital Trader Services (DTS)
  • Mark Johnson – national customs and trade control director for Kuehne & Nagel UK
  • Ian Clark – chief technology officer at DTS
  • Mark Crowther – the head of sales at DTS

Singham and Johnson joined Shakespeare in stressing the importance of businesses communicating with their suppliers and hauliers to ensure all declaration requirements are met.

The webinar also included a demo of how the new Digital Trader Services portal can support businesses complete declarations.