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Brexit hits UK book orders to EU

Orders from the EU for UK books are down by around 43% since the outbreak of Covid-19 and Brexit, a freight forwarding company has told the IPG International Publishing Forum, reports the Bookseller.

Unsworth commercial director Charles Hogg, speaking at a panel discussing publishers’ concerns about Brexit, said the drop was ‘partly because you’ve got this customs cost of probably £250, plus haulage is costing 20% more, putting people off if they don’t have to buy.’ ‘So it really is, without being too political, quite concerning, especially for the small- and medium-sized businesses who are perhaps losing customers across the border,’ added Hogg.

While UK officials claim trade is largely unaffected, Hogg said this was due to the government counting trucks crossing the border, rather than taking into account whether anything was inside the vehicles when they left the UK.

United Independent Distributors executive director Paul Gibbon said delays in the supply chain caused by Brexit had improved recently, and are now down to ‘days rather than weeks’, however he added: ‘Some of the orders are being subjected to extra charges on delivery, yet we don’t necessarily understand why and it doesn’t appear to be consistent.’

One Netherlands-based academic publisher with UK warehouse and printing facilities is having to warn customers they could be hit with a customs charge of up to €25 (A$39), while another publisher said telling European pro forma customers how much they would have to pay in customs charges was ‘impossible’ and it had to issue disclaimers.

Another issue discussed was the difficulty publishers were having sourcing paper and cardboard, however it was agreed this was a Covid-19 problem rather than a Brexit one.


Category: International news