Client: Baker Labels Ltd
Baker Labels is a family run company founded in 1973 out of a caravan in Kings Cross London. Almost 50 years of innovation and investment sees today’s production facility at purpose-built units in Brentwood, Essex via Walthamstow in East London. Acknowledged as the leading trade label printer in the UK, their products include labels and packaging suitable for use in a diverse and demanding range of sectors such as drinks, pharmaceuticals, industry and cosmetics. In addition to labels they also manufacture and export packaging materials, raw materials and identification sports sticks. Baker’s commitment to their employees, product quality and customer service has made them one of the most successful digital printers in the UK as evidenced by their many awards.me.
Many of Baker’s export customers are located in the EU and the customs changes brought about by Brexit created a huge amount of additional administration and cost for them. Logistics partners were submitting invoices more than 6 months after delivery and charging for things that didn’t seem right but due to the time passed it was impossible to challenge them. Customers were demanding delivery DDP which meant Baker’s were liable for import duties that they couldn’t predict or budget for and also had implications for VAT that were difficult to get to grips with. Commodity codes were also an issue as logistics suppliers didn’t always use the ones specified by Baker’s leading to more uncertainty over import duties. In addition to the help they needed with their EU clients, Baker’s also requested advice on exporting to China and the USA.
The International Trade Consultancy visited Baker Labels to conduct an in-depth investigation into exactly how export sales are currently executed from the quote stage through to delivery. Areas examined included;
- Documentation including invoices and C88s from logistics partners
- Commodity codes
- Duty & VAT
The ITC then provided a full written analysis of all the incorrect charges they had been invoiced for relating to delivery and duty including explanations as to why they were wrong so Baker’s could challenge them. Step by Step process maps were provided for the correct export process to different territories under different incoterms with a matrix showing what import duty and VAT would be due in which circumstances. A new logistics partner was introduced to allow Baker’s to deliver to third parties white label which saved them thousands of pounds in previously unexpected duties that could now be budgeted for in the price to the client.
Baker Labels manufacture a range of products from paper and plastic which are exported to the EU, China, USA, Switzerland, South Korea and Canada. They are often asked by their customers if they can claim preference and to provide Certificates of Origin to support their claim. Baker’s wanted to be 100% certain that they were customs compliant and that they were giving their customers accurate information and the correct documents. They also needed to obtain long-term supplier declarations from their suppliers to be able to prove to the customs authorities that their products are eligible for preferential treatment.
The first step in the process was to review the HS codes as, following the update that came in to effect in January 2022, some of them no longer existed in the UK tariff or the export countries’ tariffs. The second step was to work with Baker’s supply chain to establish the country of origin for the raw materials they use. Once we had this information, The International Trade Consultancy consulted the relevant trade agreements to determine which rule of origin applied for each of the HS codes and then worked out whether Baker’s products qualified. Finally, a matrix was supplied summarising the findings and showing which HS products qualified for preferential origin in which export markets and what the rate of import duty would be if they didn’t. The matrix was accompanied by a written report explaining the methodology and reasoning behind the decisions which can be provided to the customs authorities if required.
It has been a real pleasure working with Lucinda. The level of service provided has been outstanding from her knowledge to her professionalism and this has been extremely helpful in allowing us to perfect our processes and understand how Exporting works in more depth. Not only has Lucinda been on hand to help us throughout this process, she has left us with guides and documentation that will continue to help us in the future. Overall a great service!