Customers in EU (including NI & ROI)
As is well known, Britain has left the EU and the agreed transition period ended on 31st December 2020.
Like many businesses across the UK, Fixfast has reviewed its business processes in order to minimise any disruption to our ability to trade as normal. In the light of the recent agreement with the EU, we have updated this statement with information as to how we have prepared for the ongoing trade with our valued customers in the EU, in the ROI and in NI.
We have arrangements in place to ensure that all employees who are EU citizens are fully prepared for continuing employment, ensuring we have sufficient labour resource to meet our ongoing business needs.
Disruption in Supply
Fixfast carries substantial stockholdings in our warehousing across the UK. We have arranged to build up stocks of products sourced within EU27 to allow for any unexpected delays in supply. For goods manufactured for us outside the EU, we do not expect arrangements to change significantly, but in any case, we carry substantial stockholding of these products allowing us scope to absorb additional delays in supply. The recent months of the COVID-19 Pandemic have been a good stress-test for our supply chain and we are pleased to say we have maintained good levels of service across our entire range. In addition to this, we are investing in increased manufacturing capacity to enable us to have superior flexibility to meet product demand.
We have taken additional steps to ensure that we can continue to provide our Maximum Reliability: Minimum Fuss service to all our customers, regardless of their location.
These steps include:
- For customers in ROI and NI we have built up stock-holding in our Newry, NI warehouse in case of undue delays with transport into Ireland.
- For all export orders (including ROI), unless otherwise specifically agreed, we will be arranging with our carriers to ship on a DDP (delivered duty paid) basis. This means that the shipping will be arranged by Fixfast and we will cover the costs of any duties payable to reduce the administration for our customers. Any resulting increase in costs will inevitably require a review of our selling prices accordingly.
- We are organising amendments to our systems in order that our shipment documents include the required details for export (now required as UK will be classified as a “third country” by the EU), such as commodity codes, and country of origin where applicable. However, as we are shipping DDP, our customers will not need to make any declarations themselves – this is covered between Fixfast and our Shipping Agent.
Regulatory and Compliance
A number of our products are covered by ETA approvals. These have now been transferred to a Technical Assessment Body (TAB) based in the EU, so that we have continuity of certification. In due course, these will also be approved by a UK Approved Body in order for UKCA marking to be approved. This means that our key product ranges will be approved for sale in the UK, NI/ ROI and the EU. We will continue to monitor all regulatory changes to ensure our products are relevant in every way to the markets we serve.
It is early days and so it is impossible to be more precise regarding the potential disruption in shipping routes or the impact of any additional duties or taxes but we must accept that a certain amount of uncertainty is inevitable at this stage and we will continue to keep our customers updated.
FIXFAST Ltd January 2021