Seize the E-commerce Opportunities

Gary Sweeney
Gary Sweeney

Don’t let the complexities of cross-border trading in 2022 hold you back

Because the Internet has no boundaries, people believe that e-commerce should have no boundaries either. A consumer in the EU, for instance, expects to purchase goods from a retailer in the UK as easily as they can from online merchants in their own country. The same holds true for consumers in the UK wanting to purchase from Europe and beyond. Buyers expect each step in the process, from the initial catalogue or website search to their order’s arrival, to be a simple, smooth transaction.

But that’s not easy to achieve when delivering across borders. International e-commerce transactions are more complex than their domestic counterparts. They are fraught with potential roadblocks that can cause delays, undermining one of e-commerce’s key selling points: fast fulfilment of individual orders anywhere, anytime.

Increasing sales and growing your brand

Are you an e-commerce trader, and has removing the Low-Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) to EU destinations from 1 July 2021 (exemption abolished) caused you to cease serving that lucrative market? Are the added border controls required by Brexit and even the security led US Stop Act causing your business to spend more time, effort, and money to continue to trade overseas?

If your organisation is involved in the e-commerce supply chain, and you trade to the EU, you may have been affected by the change by the European Union tax rule on LVCR, exempting ‘low-value items’ (worth less than €22) from VAT. The LVCR was introduced to remove from customs authorities in EU member states the responsibility for checking the potential tax liability of high volumes of small packages that might generate little revenue.
The change to LVCR has led to a complicated cross-border environment for retailers, carriers, and logistics companies regarding customs, taxes, and cross-border trade. Large and small businesses have taken the difficult decision to curtail activity in these areas due to the perceived difficulty of continuing to operate. This has caused significant revenue loss and impact on profitability.

All countries, including those outsides of the EU, have different compliance regulations and all businesses have various issues in meeting these requirements. Usually, this is due to not having the required systems in place or the in-house expertise to develop the critical approach.

Are you a merchant, e-retailor, postal operator, mail consolidator, freight forwarder or logistics provider and have seen volumes of international traffic reduce dramatically over the last 18 Months? Are your clients asking for solutions that seem out of reach or unreasonable?

Overcoming the cross-border challenges

In an international environment, it can be difficult for sellers to fulfil their promise to customers of on-time delivery at a predictable cost. In large part, that’s because customs regulations and processes worldwide were designed for large-scale, repetitive industrial shipments, not for the small, unique orders that form the bulk of e-commerce transactions.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) shipments tend to be highly variable and very small, with many falling below the minimum threshold for taxes and duties. Even some business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce shipments, such as electronics parts and accessories, can have small order quantities and a low merchandise value.

If you fall into either of the above categories, help is at hand

We are an independent niche consultancy focused entirely on the postal and logistics industry. Our consultants have over 200 years of experience across all aspects of the industry. We have an in-depth understanding of the international cross-border requirements to enable you to continue to service these markets profitably.

We will work with you to understand your business drivers and long-term strategy.  We will evaluate your business options and make recommendations that are personalised to your business, ensuring you continue to trade internationally.

Whether you are an e-commerce retailer, postal operator, mail consolidator, freight forwarder, logistics provider or a customer of postal services, we can assist you with your international trading needs.

Our e-commerce supply chain networks framework

Whether you just want a hand with increasing sales through the LVCR scheme or our wider offering, we’re here to help.

To download a PDF version of our e-commerce supply chain network please click HERE

This is where Altus can help

We specialise in every aspect of your postal needs. Why not take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation to discuss with one of our specialists how we can help your organisation. We guarantee to add value and deliver significant savings.

To discuss how we can help, please contact us today on 0845 602 7336.

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