Plain sailing as we re-double our Irish efforts

It’s taken more than the luck of the Irish to negotiate a clear trade passage between the UK and the island of Ireland post-Brexit, but here at Aztek, we have been able to set a course for restriction-free shipments, thanks to our partnership working on both sides of the Irish Sea.

It’s been a hard slog since January, but thanks to the right partnership with our hauliers and shippers the situation has eased considerably on our daily movements into Ireland.

During 2020, we took steps to remind our customers of changes to customs protocols post January 1, but we still faced major challenges.

The complexity of the situation thwarted a seamless transition in the wake of the existential Irish border question and special protocols – an issue freighted with economic, security and political uncertainty.

However, we doubled down on our efforts to assist customers by publishing a Brexit administrative essentials checklist on our website to ensure our customers have the correct documentation to replace what would have been a simple delivery note.

We’ve also created a visual guide to display specific information on subjects including EORI notes, commodity codes, declarations, commercial invoicing, packing lists, certificates and licences and tariffs.

None of this material was obvious to businesses looking on the GOV.UK website, so we created a visual step-by-step representation of what was needed to help struggling companies – some had simply stopped shipments under their own steam until it was sorted out, with one courier company complaining that more than 70 per cent of parcels were accompanied with the incorrect paperwork.

Apart from new complex customs arrangements published by the UK government, businesses dealing with Irish customers now also need to ensure shipments only travel on heat-treated pallets, another new post-Brexit arrangement, as the UK falls outside of an EU-wide exemption to this rule.

Here at Aztek we are also investing additional customs clearance training for our staff and engaging apprentices to take on this role.

Brexit has been an ongoing concern to our customers who are simply looking for clarity and closure after months and years of rancour and disagreement.

We want to represent the common-sense voice of reason that demystifies the issues and allows businesses to operate on both sides of the Irish Sea fully aware of what they need to do to meet the requirements of the protocols.