Irish consumers warned parcel delays from UK sites will last months

Irish consumers warned parcel delays from UK sites will last months

The Irish haulage industry, including these trucks at Dublin port, are caught in the middle because many UK firms had not prepared for changes to shipping processes caused by Brexit.  

Irish truckers who are on the frontline facing Brexit disruption said there will be no quick fix in parcel delivery delays from British e-commerce sites to Ireland, warning the disruption will likely last for months.

It comes as a number of Irish online shoppers have experienced significant delays with parcel deliveries from Britain.

The Irish Examiner has reviewed a request made by transport firm DHL last week to an Irish customer requesting the payment of over €122 in "import duty tax" on goods worth around €300, placed with British fashion online site ME+EM.  

DHL said the payment was required to avoid any effect on the delivery of the package.       

The British online retailer apologised to the customer, saying there had been "a few issues during the Brexit transition with orders placed before January 1 but arriving after", and that the request had been made in error. 

On Twitter, a number of Irish online shoppers said they were experiencing delays on their parcels, but it was unclear whether they were related to Brexit. 

Aidan Flynn, general manager at Freight Transport Association Ireland, said the complexity of the documentation and the need to train people on new product codes since the start of January means "an awful lot of goods" were not travelling into Ireland from Britain from e-commerce sites. 

He said each of the many small packages that can go onto a truck must be itemised for Vat costs. Each has to be entered into a computer system to ensure there are no errors and there was a huge training requirement for shipping agents, Mr Flynn said.

"The reality for Ireland is that you would expect that goods should travel as before, and that is true for goods from the rest of Europe, but it is the complexity involving goods moving from Britain to Ireland" which is driving the disruption, he said. 

The Irish haulage industry had been caught in the middle because many Briitish companies had not been prepared for the changes to the process of shipping goods to the single market across Ireland and in continental Europe, Mr Flynn said.         

The documentation is designed, he said, to protect the EU single market across the island of Ireland and to track the amount of Vat payable for goods. 

Meanwhile, British online fashion retailer Asos reported strong Christmas trading and raised its profit outlook, but said post-Brexit tariffs would cost it £15m (€16.7m) in its 2020-21 financial year.

UK retailers, including Marks & Spencer, have complained of issues re-exporting goods to Ireland and the rest of the EU since the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, with tariffs imposed on items not made in the UK.

Asos has been able to continue selling products on its European websites, largely without incurring tariffs because most are shipped from its warehouse in Berlin. 

But even Asos has not been able to mitigate the impact of all the tariffs. “We’ve not been able to get every product to go direct to Berlin in every single circumstance,” chief executive Nick Beighton told Reuters. 

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