Posted by Erik Meijers & filed under Blog, Brexit.

It is (almost) inevitable that Brexit is coming and you better be prepared. Langdon’s Customs and Solutions Manager, Erik Meijers, paints a picture of the future.

Before the referendum in the United Kingdom, everybody was sure this was never going to happen. But the old saying “Never say never” has proved itself yet again. The British people voted for the emergency-exit and the government acknowledged it. The procedure of the now famous article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been initiated and only an emergency-stop can still prevent this from happening. Never say never, but this scenario is not very likely.

To continue with Brexit is political suicide for the British government, but pulling the emergency brake is political suicide and public shame.

Recently, a hard Brexit seems to be getting closer and, strange though it may sound, maybe this is the best option. This way we would immediately be clear on what the implications are, and new processes would have to be installed straight away. The blow to Dutch business will be significant but knowing the Dutch mentality, it will not take long before we find a new way of trading.

With all other intermediate solutions, many uncertainties will affect the market. What do I have to report to Customs and what not? Which products will benefit from agreed tariff rates and which products will not? All these intermediate solutions will have to be approved by unanimity of the 27 Member States. The Netherlands will most likely be favourable to any trade facilitations, but I am afraid that not all Member States will feel this way.

Consider that for all the blows we must take, these blows will be even harder on the other side of the Channel. How long will the traffic jam be at the Port of Dover? Will the British Customs System be equipped to handle all the extra declarations? Can the Dutch Customs System handle it? How much more expensive will the EU products become for British consumers? How do I streamline the logistics process with my British customers or should I no longer trade with the UK?

There will be companies on both sides of the Channel that will have to deal with Import and Export declarations. Where in the past the transport company would collect a shipment, and deliver it to a customer, they will now have to deal with Customs declarations. How many small businesses are happy about an extra burden in their supply chain?

So, when would be a good time to start acting? You could wait until something is actually happening (April 1st, 2019) but how long would the list of companies waiting for an export/import license be? Or you could act now and make sure you are prepared for what it is coming your way.

At Langdon Systems, we have clear solutions for all likely scenarios. We are discussing with both Dutch and British Customs how we can facilitate the trade with the least delays on both sides. We are happy to discuss how we can help your business to become Brexit-proof, even if you consider your company too small to keep trading with the UK. We will assess your situation and discuss the options available to continue your business across the Channel.

Please contact us, your own software provider, a consultant or a business association and get informed. Be on time, be prepared ……….

Langdon Systems. More than 30 years’ experience in creation, development and implementation of Duty Management Systems in Europe. If you have any questions on AGS or other Customs related issues, then send an email to or by phone on 040 440 0330.