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Overcoming the new complexities of B2C sales into the EU

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Learn how to adapt to new B2C trading requirements and continue to compete and thrive in the EU marketplace

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Worth an estimated £72 billion, the UK’s online retail market is the 3rd largest in the world, No. 1 in Europe, and has boomed in a large part due to unfettered access to more than 450 million EU consumers. Our departure from the EU has brought with it a number of changes and challenges for not only e-commerce businesses, but for B2C sales as a whole.

More than 65% of UK e-tailers were said to have done little to no preparation for the end of the transition period, and the subsequent introduction of customs controls and checks as well as the loss of Distance Selling thresholds afforded by the EU VAT Directive, has left many of them wondering if continued selling into the EU is even viable.

Departure from the EU e-Commerce and EU VAT Directives applies a level of regulatory and cost burden never encountered before. VAT issues in particular mean that some sellers may have to register for VAT in every member state to which they ship. Furthermore, some 19 of the 27 states insist that UK businesses obtain fiscal representation to register for VAT, this level of bureaucracy and cost will simply cause some smaller merchants to withdraw from the EU, losing years of built-up customer loyalty.

There is no doubt that the early days post transition in particular have been bitterly painful for many e-tailers. Heavily reliant on fast parcel operators, their businesses ground to a halt early January as some of those operators switched off EU shipments amongst confusion and delays due to documentation and process issues. Faced with upset and confusion over inflated charges faces by their EU customers, many businesses have chosen to cease EU sales for the time being.

EU e-commerce is indeed a more complex landscape than it was pre 1st January, but there is still demand for British goods amongst EU consumers. However, in order to succeed in this new phase of trading, e-tailers and B2C companies need to increase their knowledge and adapt to overcome these new barriers. They need to understand the essentials of international trade, shipping terms, VAT implications, local regulation, and importantly facilitations that will emerge over coming months like the EU One Stop Shop planned for July.

If you are a B2C company or e-tailer currently selling or planning to sell into the EU, join Andrea Collins from The Export Department for this webinar as she explains everything B2C companies need to be considering now and changes they need to be implementing within their terms and processes to ensure that they can continue to compete and thrive in the EU marketplace.

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Andrea is an international trade specialist with almost 25 years’ experience in the industry. A linguist fluent in French and Spanish, Andrea specializes in Importing, exporting, Brexit preparedness, business resilience, and business growth. A passionate ambassador of UK micro businesses and SMEs, she launched The Export Department to assist these companies expand their horizons internationally and raise the profile of UK goods and services abroad. As well as supporting private clients with their international trade endeavours, Andrea delivers 1:1 support and 1:Many support for a number of Growth Hubs nationwide and is responsible for the design and delivery of a range of EU transition, international expansion, and business resilience support programmes operational across Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and the South East Midlands.


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