Flower buying after Brexit
As there are some concerns regarding flower buying after Brexit we thought we would give you our view on it. Since our last email on 19th November 2018, we were hopeful that we would have been able to provide much fuller information and details on exactly what the situation will be from 29th March 2019 for us as wholesalers/importers and you a florist but currently and very frustratingly we are still none the wiser given the lack of progress in parliament.
We are continuing to prepare for a worst case event….. please do not take this as further scare mongering but reassurance that we are actively working to prepare for a “no-deal” but remain hopeful a deal will be reached, if Article 50 is postponed but this will mean we only have this same situation further down the line.
We are very lucky to work closely with our Dutch partners Van Duyvenvoorde which gives us a view from both sides of the channel.
Industry press release
I am sure some of you have read the recent release from the BFA chairman, Brian Wills-Pope regarding flower buying after Brexit and are concerned that you will need to acquire your own Economic Registration and Identification Number (EORI). If you buy from us or another UK registered company this is not the case as Flowervision (Bristol) act as the importer – you will not need an EORI. Buying direct from Holland via our Direct Plant and/or Sundries Direct facility are also not affected as you are invoiced from us and we act as the importer of these goods. Caroline Marshal-Foster of The Florist offered a balanced view of a scary article in the Guardian, read here
To date this is the picture as far as we can ascertain:-
- Any EU grown produce will be allowed to pass straight through into the UK and will not need to be inspected.
- Anything grown outside of the EU such as Columbia/Kenya grown stock will be treated as goods from a 3rd trade zone and will need to be inspected and maybe subject to import/customs tariffs – unless it has already been cleared in Holland/EU in which case it will then be treated as “EU cleared” and allowed to pass through freely.
- Any inspections will not be done at the point of entry to avoid backlogs but in locations called Place of First Arrival(PFA’s will normally be at the most southerly point on a journey). We are confident all of the cut flower stock we receive regardless of its country of origin will be EU cleared and therefore we will not need to set up such a facility.
- If we do receive stock from a 3rd trade zone country that hasn’t been cleared we have been advised an inspection zone here at Flowervision (Bristol) could be set up as a PFA and the local inspectors are aware of the turnaround we operate.
- Flowervision (Bristol) has an EORI number and a trading number for PEACH (Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates) to import certain plants, fruits and vegetables from non-EU countries so you as a customer of Flowervision (Bristol) won’t need to do this.
- Certain plant products that currently require an EU plant passport will require a UK plant passport and also will require us to notify customs of their impending arrival 3 days prior to their entry in to the UK. Currently this is the only delay we can foresee other than the potential for transport delays from checks at ports for other goods which may impact upon our progress from or back to Holland.
We are monitoring the situation
As you will appreciate we are monitoring the situation very closely and we will provide a further update, as originally intended, when we have firm facts as to what will be happening.
Should we find that we will definitely be exiting the EU on a no deal basis we will ensure we are available to answer any questions you may have leading up to and after the 29th March. We will also provide you with guidelines as to what you can do to help ensure you meet order/event deadlines for stock.
We have penciled in the idea to hold an evening(s) meeting/presentation to highlight the potential areas for disruption in flower buying after Brexit, the knock on effects we may face and to explain how this can be mitigated by you to ensure you receive your required stock in time for the intended order/event, again this will be communicated once we know of what is happening.
With parliament due to vote again on Tuesday 12th March 2019 it is likely we will update you soon after this.
If you should have any questions before this date please do not hesitate to contact Nick Hudson on 0117 9778889 or 07739004194