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UK supply chain hit by border delays, Brexit issues

In the UK, booksellers are facing issues with goods coming into and out of Europe due to border delays and Brexit red tape, reports the Bookseller.

Waterstones has suspended deliveries to Europe after its delivery partner Royal Mail paused shipments to mainland Europe, Canada and Turkey on 21 December. Waterstones chief operating officer Kate Skipper said the decision was made as ‘service could not be guaranteed to customers due to the late notice of the publication of the details surrounding the Brexit deal, combined with the pre-Christmas border chaos.’

Goldsboro Books managing director David Headley said the situation is ‘a shambles’, stating that: ‘There is no clarity whatsoever with sending books to the EU. There are reams of pages about exporting but I can’t find out what taxes are due, by who, and when those taxes need to be collected.’

Publiship, which serves more than 200 publishers, said the logistics industry importing books is ‘still in chaos’, with Brexit provoking problems with incorrect documentation, leading to truck queues at the border. It estimated that the number of trucks coming into the UK is only at 40% of normal volume, while freight rates for trucks coming into the UK are four times higher than what was being charged at the start of December.

UK Booksellers Association managing director Meryl Halls said Brexit is an ‘enormous issue’—particularly for Irish booksellers and UK retailers having problems with the new regulations.

‘The Government’s alarming lack of guidance has created a situation where booksellers and suppliers in the UK and Ireland have been left to fend for themselves,’ Halls said. ‘We are working hard with British publishers to try and mitigate the effect Brexit is having on the supply chain and bookshops, but urge the Government to provide clearer advice for businesses and to recognise the damaging effect which the current situation is having on the book community in both countries.’


Category: International news