As we make it through COVID-19, do we have the energy for that old headache?


Dear Jordon friends,

As you know at the begining of this year we left the EU and entered into the transition period (may we still call it Brexit?).  As we reach the mid-point of a chaotic year it seems inevitable that come 01.01.21 we will have left either with no-deal, or with a very poor one, such are the time constraints.

At the beginning of the year we hadn’t envisaged the arrival of a virus with such severity that it shut down our social lives and the economy, not just in the UK, but globally.  The full impact of this is still to be known as business and livelihoods have not yet reached any form of normality, and we don’t know if there will ever be such normality again.  Many businesses and jobs, sadly, will not survive.

Before we proceed any further we would like to offer our thoughts for companies facing severe difficulties caused by the situation.  If you feel there’s anything we can help you with or even just to talk things through, we are here for you.  Please keep this in mind.

So going on, as we work in the wings, observing, planning and re-building our futures, the government have given no indication to extend the transition period due to this chaos.  If anything, they have made it clearer than ever that there will be no extension by constantly stating this in the some of their recent press conferences.  Obviously they have said things before that have not materialised but we must work towards the assumption that this time it’s really happening.

Just a few weeks ago UK global tariffs were released (link below) and we urge customers to have a look at these as soon as possible in reference to the goods they trade.

The UK MFN tariff will apply to all imports from 01.01.21 unless there is a trade deal.  It appears by publishing this tariff schedule the government expect it to help trade talks with the EU, USA and Japan, where they now know the default if no trade agreement is reached.

Whilst we all still battle the effects of Coronavirus on our businesses and supply chains the unfortunate fact is we need to make time to start testing the movement of cargo data between your business and your customs broker (don’t delay finding one though, if you haven’t done so yet).

Understandly this is the last thing on peoples minds and like us you may have staff furloughed and some may be responsible for these matters.  It’s a tricky balancing act in knowing how to get back to business and prioritise the important stuff.  Getting your business back and upright is obviously the most important matter at hand.  But consider when you do that your goods being moved are going to be exposed to the new red tape imposed come January 1st 2020, so at some point we have to tackle this.

We have invested heavily in IT infrastructure and new customs software and are working hard on continually simplifying processes from our end, so when we receive your data there will be no delays, with a goal to automate transmissions throughout.  We can’t stress enough though that your extraction of master data, the process of doing it, now needs to be tested and refined.

Without this data flow working you will be unable to ship your goods and on occasions where the data is incorrect there could be delays to shipments.  So testing at this phase is essential, the time now to the end of the year will fly by as we continue to battle the fallout caused by COVID-19.  If you have any questions or difficulties please call us to help walk you through some scenarios we’ve built.

It’s important to know that even if trade deals are agreed, there will still be customs formalities, maybe even more so as an FTA will require certificates of origin.  This is why we are making such a big thing about preparations of data and testing transmission between houses, because we know it will be necessary and we have to work your systems into ours.  Preparation is everything as we lead up to the end of the year.

If you wish us to take on your customs brokering ensuring shipments and customs are all managed in one place, please contact us as soon as possible as we only have limited capacity when we start on 01.01.21.

To come on board please contact: Roddy Forster


We do hope to scale quickly once we understand the extra requirement in the market, as the government are already saying there is a current shortfall of a staggering 50,000 customs clerks for the work needed.  Our belief is that this is an even bigger problem that it sounds, if that’s possible.

You can refresh yourselves with our Brexit how-to’s on Jordon TV’s YouTube channel (see video below) as most customs and border processes remain unchanged,  but there is no TSP now, this is gone.

We will create some new how-to videos very soon, and one specifically about extracting master data so keep an eye out for that.  In the mean time if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, our job is to support you through COVID-19 and the end of the transition period in any way we can.

Our promise to you is we will work through this with you as your partner and make sure you are not left adrift in this often complex area that we’re all new to.  Although we have staff that were making customs clearances on carbon copy paper in our office 35 years ago (me included), they know what’s coming and hopefully should give you comfort.

You can check out our latest interview with Joe Mayes from Bloomberg News concerning the difficulties we all are facing managing furloughed staff, downturns in business and once more the added complication of preparing for the end of the transition period.

One extra bit of news we’d like to mention is that our Ocean Freight department is now open for business.  We are applying our fast response times, tracking facilities and high communication standards to Ocean Freight with an aim to raise the bar in these often neglected areas.  Our partnership with The World Logistics Alliance means we can source globally on the ground, local knowledge and experience fast.  If you need a quote for shipping or delivering containers worldwide please contact Roddy, Nikki or me for further information .


Thank you for reading, we wish you the very best return to business and hope to speak to you in the near future

Kind regards

Jon Swallow & The Jordon Team