Logistics companies that ship antiques to Europe have prepared for Brexit.
All antiques moving between Europe and the UK are now subject to customs regulations and border controls, as of January 1st, 2021. This could cause delays, but logistics companies have said that they are prepared.
One company that ships antiques and art to Europe said that customs formalities will be processed in its warehouse in West London before leaving in its vehicles to the Channel ports. The drivers must have a Kent Access Permit (KAP) before heading to the ports. The KAP and other custom forms are completed online, which prevents custom delays.
Antiques over 50 years old are classed as cultural goods and must have an export licence issued by the Arts Council. People buying qualifying antiques in the UK for use in their European homes need to apply to the Export Licensing Unit (ELU) for an export licence. The unit was closed in March 2020, but it has now created an online procedure for obtaining an export licence.
If ports do become congested, an alternative is air freight, though this is more expensive. Some shippers are looking at using alternative ports, such as Hull, which are not as busy as the Channel ports.
Antique dealers reported brisk business in 2020, despite lockdown restrictions. Buyers purchasing antique sofas, settees, chests and other furniture from Lancashire have plenty of choices. If shipping items outside the UK, expect some delays, and possible rises in freight charges to cover extra administration work.
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