Let’s get going: How firms are taking action to deal with new trade and customs regulations
The UK left the EU in January, and the clock is running down to the end of transition on 31 December. Here’s how firms are taking action to ensure they’re best placed to deal with the new trade and customs regulations.
While the nation put rainbows in their windows and clapped for carers, a bubble factory in the foothills of Snowdonia was busy manufacturing “liquid rainbows”.
Dr Zigs Extraordinary Bubbles has been making eco-friendly giant bubble kits in North Wales for 10 years, and amid the challenges of Covid-19, it has been busy preparing for the end of transition so it can continue to spread the joy further afield.
‘As a company, we need to be ready, because I want to continue to trade – we have a lovely business and it’s done really well,’ says manufacturer and “bubbler-in-chief” Paola Dyboski-Bryant. ‘During that first phase of lockdown, the bubbles were a symbol of hope – parents were buying them for children, children were gifting them to grandparents.
‘The interest we’ve had from all over is huge, shipping to Italy, Germany, Holland, Denmark… Preparation will be key to keeping that going.’
From a kitchen-table start-up inspired by Paola’s youngest son Ziggy, the company is now about to launch in South Korea, Australia and soon the US. ‘We have already registered for VAT in France, Italy and Germany, but I would recommend applying sooner rather than later because it can take several months. It’s also important to sort an EORI [Economic Operators Registration and Identification] number for exports.’ Paola has also had to think about her employees, too, to make sure that they can live and work in the UK after the deadline.
They have now all applied for settled status. As a company, it’s been about encouraging and supporting them through the process. ‘As a nation, Britain is so cosmopolitan – people come from every corner of the world to call it home and we really value that. Ultimately, we are an international company working in the UK, and we are proud to keep that going.’