PCIAW®ONLINE Brexit Trade Deal Series
On 1st January 2021, the UK officially completed the transition period for the country’s exit from the European Union.
The PCIAW® joins César Araújo, CEO of Calvelex and President of Portugal’s National Association of Clothing and Apparel Industry (ANIVEC / APIV), to discuss the impact of the Brexit deal for Portugal and the professional clothing industry. César is also one of the founding Board Directors of the PCIAW®.
Whilst businesses may welcome the certainty provided by a free trade deal being reached, companies need to adapt to the new rules and processes in order to continue operating.
What was your initial reaction to the finalisation of the Brexit trade deal with the European Union?
First of all, the fact that the UK left the EEC was not ideal for many reasons, but we are relieved that the UK and EEC have finalised a deal, which is far better than a no-deal scenario. Not the best outcome, but at least we have something.
What impact do you think the implementation of the UK’s new trading relationship will have on Calvalex?
In our particular case, we have been preparing to face a Brexit deal or no-deal in a constructive way. In this case, this is more of a bureaucratic issue for us, especially when we need to send goods to the UK, because Calvelex only works with products made in Portugal (made in Europe), which makes things easier to export to the UK.
What work was undertaken by Calvalex in preparation for the new trading rules and was this preparation enough to ensure a smooth continuation in your operations? What advice would you give to other businesses adjusting to the new trading regulations?
As we all know, this is still a learning process for everyone. We ensured that we were constantly in conversation with the entities more involved in this matter, making sure that we follow any directives. As a manufacturer, Calvelex produces everything in Europe, which is much smoother as these new trading rules really focus on the products made in Europe and the UK. And when the products are made in these areas, exporting and importing them is easy, it just requires the correct paperwork.
I would advise businesses to look for more products made in Europe to avoid any extra charges on their products. They should make partnerships to reduce the negative impact of Brexit – in the twenty-first century, the logic of being alone and happy does not work. Europe has around 500 million inhabitants and the UK has 66.8 million inhabitants – we are stronger together than separated.
It is important not to have borders and everyone should find a constructive way to reach the government of the UK to show that these borders are not good for people or business development.
How do you think the Brexit trade deal with the EU will impact the professional clothing industry as a whole and do you have any predictions of what may change in the future because of the new trading terms?
These new trading rules will really affect online sales, which will put many companies off selling in the UK because of costs involved in importing and exporting. Returns will also make this more complicated; all this will increase the cost of the product, which will make online sales between Europe and the UK more difficult.
To address this, Calvalex has developed a project with companies in the UK. We will support them with online sales, especially on returns and business in other parts of the world, where we will receive their goods in Portugal and send them to any other country they need, except the UK. We will do the receiving, quality control, allocation, pick and pack, and distribution.
PCIAW® members who have any questions should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the answer is not readily available from the official government website or your supporting customs partner – if we don’t know the answer we’ll find somebody who does.