Haverhill Research Park business owner has called on the Government to act after being hit by a post-Brexit 37 per cent rise in the cost of importing goods
A business owner left ‘horrified’ after seeing the cost of a single consignment of goods imported from the Netherlands rise by 37 per cent post-Brexit believes the Government needs to step in and address the issue.
A single pallet of items ordered in January from a Dutch supplier by Gardening for Kids, based for the last few months in the EpiCentre at Haverhill Research Park, came to £1,682 – hundred of pounds more than expected.
Pre-December 31, 2020 – the date when the post-Brexit transition period ended – that order carried no additional costs for the company.
Not only has Louise Edgeworth, who runs the family business, had to wait three months instead of the usual few days for that order to arrive, she has also had to pay an additional £621 in importation charges.
The new fees included 75 Euros for a ‘phytosanitary certificate’ – which proves that there were no diseases in the, imported goods, mainly seeds – a 150 Euro pallet + charge, a 155 Euro fee for customs, handling and loading, and a £45 fee for a UK Customs agent to complete the paperwork needed to clear the imported goods and allow their onward journey.
Louise also incurred a bill for £249.70 that she still doesn’t really understand, but believes it to be a customs fee or VAT cost, payable to the HMRC.
With the Netherlands being the main source of goods for UK companies in the gardening/horticultural industry, Gardening for Kids would not be alone in facing such issues, said Louise.
She added: “It has cost our business a lot of money, not just in the cost of importing it but in not having the stock to sell (the three month wait for delivery meant a number of items sold by the business went out of stock).
“I was just horrified. I don’t see why it would cost £621 to have the same goods coming in from the same country to the same place.
“These charges coming in overnight seem to me to be absolutely ridiculous.
“Nothing has changed for the better (since Brexit), it’s just changed for the worse.
“I would like the Government to look at these charges, realise the devastating impact on small businesses, and negotiate with the EU to come to a sensible solution.
"I try to absorb as much of it (the extra costs) as I can but I can’t absorb all of it. The end consumer is the one who suffers here because of the increased prices.”