The UK has now left the European Union.
While it is good news that the UK and EU remain on relatively good terms, the fact that the UK has left the single market and customs union does mean that there is some disruption and duty is now payable;
- Customs charges – I know from customer feedback that customs are charging duties for EU customers on arrival into the union
- Postal disruption – the new rules are creating some hold-ups with Germany in particular seeming slower than usual at the moment
Therefore, customers in the European Union should be aware when placing orders that customs will contact you and request payment of charges before they will allow the parcel to be released. To date this has been anywhere from 10 to 30 euros depending on the value of the order (and this could be higher if the order is larger than those quoted).
How to avoid those charges
One way for those customers in Northern Europe to buy without duties will be to visit Scale Model Challenge in Eindhoven in October this year (as long as it is able to go-ahead). The website will soon allow customers to pre-buy figures for collection there postage and tariff free. I’d like to do the same at a Southern European show as well (perhaps Spain, Italy or Portugal) but the Covid situation makes that difficult to plan in 2021.
Secondly, I’m going to look at perhaps a hub or reseller to cover the EU states so that orders are shipped internally within the EU (and therefore avoid tariffs). I’m not sure how that could work, it’s something I’m looking in to.
Finally, I could always sell into retailers in the EU. I’m reluctant to do that, I did sell through retailers in the past and it was a little problematic. It’s also a massive investment for any retailer to hold a range in-stock that consists of almost 100 figures plus cavalry artillery, bases etc. Again, it’s something I’m looking at.
For me, friendship is above politics and I love the people and culture in Europe and many parts of the world and I have friends in many different places and that won’t change. Trading blocks, political unions and politicians will come and go, friendship is enduring.
But here, I want to say to my friends in the European Union that Tommy’s War is not leaving you and I’m going to try and make it as easy for you to get your figures as possible.
I’ve got big plans for Tommy’s War in 2021 and beyond and I look forward to sharing these with all of my EU friends!