The low value of the pound, current freedom from tariffs at EU borders and a new generous US duty threshold means this is the ideal time for SMBs to take their first step overseas, ParcelHero told yesterday’s Department for International Trade’s Selling Online Conference.
‘A unique combination of the fall in the value of the pound, the current lack of tariffs, taxes and Customs delays on UK goods into Europe, and a high duty threshold for British goods in the US, means there may never be a better time for UK SME manufacturers and retailers to take their first step into selling overseas.’
This was the message of the international delivery specialist ParcelHero to the Department for International Trade (DIT) Midlands Engine ‘Selling Online’ Conference delegates yesterday.
The event, staged at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, drew in around 500 retailers and manufacturers embarking on exporting products to overseas markets. Speaking at the event, ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, revealed that: ‘All the stars were in alignment for exporting success’.
However, Jinks cautioned that the impact of Brexit may change the current highly favourable trading arrangements with European Union countries. Said Jinks: ‘Exporters have never had it so good! It’s to be hoped that a soft Brexit will mirror EU Single Market and Customs Union arrangements as closely as possible. Certainly now is the most cost-effective time for businesses to dip your toes in exporting to Europe and start building relationships.’
Jinks also cautioned US President Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for low tariffs and free trade agreements meant America’s new minimum duty threshold of $800 (the value under which no duties and taxes are imposed on UK exports into the US) - introduced in the dying days of Obama’s presidency - could be reversed to the former $200 level if President Trump continues his more protectionist agenda.
But Jinks urged: ‘By starting to export now, while all the stars are in alignment for successful exporting, retailers and manufacturers will be in a well-established place and able to meet any changes in EU or US duties’. Revealing several tips and tricks to help smooth the process of shipping overseas, David concluded: ‘Not only is Exporting GREAT, to borrow the title of the DIT’s campaign, it is also far easier and cheaper than many SME businesses may fear.’
Also speaking at the Conference were experts from PayPal, Google, Barclays and other major supporters of the DIT initiative.