I have a small antiques and secondhand business in england. Prior to brexit, my business partner and I travelled to Europe with an empty van, we would then travel between estate sales / antique dealers / flea markets and trade show and we would during the process of essentially a road trip, fill the van and then drive back over to england to sell the goods. We are now coming up to two months post brexit, and are having a really hard time navigating the new system.
You see the problem now is that following brexit, obviously we have to fill in import / export declarations for customs and pay duty. All of this is fine! We vat registered in preparation, contacted customs agents and registered for EORI numbers etc etc. However, our business and also those of other dealers we know are now effectively at a standstill because of one box on the new paperwork.
In order to move our goods France to UK, we now need to complete a commercial invoice. To complete a commercial invoice, we need an exporter. Currently, as we buy from 20-60 people per trip and transport the goods ourselves, we have no exporter and it is impossible to ask one of our suppliers to step in.
One solution that has come up, of the many I am currently trying to figure out, is to register a business within the EU. This would mean that our EU company purchases all of the goods and then essentially boxes them up to send to my UK company, who then sells them on. My EU company would then obviously be able to fufill the export declarations needed for us to finally get stock moving.
Our EU business would have one customer only, our business in England. We would buy goods from ourselves essentially and the EU company would essenetially sell them to us at cost and so thus, our EU business with buying more goods / selling to us at cost, would have a turnover of zero.
Is this an acceptable way to run a business? Am I heading for Al Capone terriotory and the debtors prison? I am just a humble shopkeeper with no knowledge of these things! I have absolutely no idea concerning legalities... I'm just trying to think of anyway I can to still have a business six months from now!
... Oh, why did our country vote for this!