Brexit could have been avoided

What does Brexit mean for online shopping?

After lengthy exit negotiations, multiple postponements of the deadline and a phase of considerable uncertainty for politics and trade, it is now a reality - Great Britain has left the European Union. Fortunately, a “hard” Brexit was initially avoided.

In this article we explain the importance of Brexit for cross-border online shopping in Europe and the dangers of Brexit.

EU-wide online shopping: a win

Germans used to like to shop online in Great Britain. Even better than in the USA or China - of course, so far this has also been smooth and fast. Above all, clothing and some electronic products were found cheaper there. The British also like to shop online within the EU. This could change now.

Withdrawal agreement and transition period

The dreaded unregulated, “hard” Brexit will not yet come about. A transition period will run until the end of 2020. During this period, EU law applies to Great Britain as before, so the country will initially continue to be treated like an EU member state: During the transition period, citizens and British companies will initially enjoy the same freedoms as in previous years.

This time will also be used to work out a free trade agreement between the EU and Great Britain. When and in what form this separate agreement will be concluded is still unknown. The potential risk of an unregulated Brexit after the end of the transition period therefore still exists. In the following, we will show you what exactly we could expect.

Brexit & online shopping: these changes could await us

So far, the EU has actually pursued common economic and political goals in online trading and stands for equal rights among the member states. Because of the Brexit, renegotiations are now taking place between the EU and the exit country Great Britain, which are marked by uncertainties - including regressions and uncertainties for pan-European online trade.

Small and medium-sized online retailers in particular will have to deal with bureaucratic hurdles and higher costs in the future, which of course could also be passed on to consumers. In addition, the range of online shops is likely to become significantly smaller.

From a customs point of view, there have been no formalities in the movement of goods between the EU member states. Nobody had to pay customs duties and there were no other restrictions. In the event of a disorderly Brexit, trade would look like in non-EU countries: every truck that comes off the ferry has to be checked. The implications for us? Significantly longer delivery times and higher prices. It is estimated that products are up to 15 percent more expensive depending on the category. Nevertheless, experts expect the pound to lose value against the euro, so prices could also become cheaper overall.

We could also expect changes to the 14-day right of withdrawal, which is mandatory in the EU. In the UK, this regulation could be eliminated in the future, so that you can no longer exchange or complain about goods as long as before.

There could also be restrictions on the topics of SEPA transfers, mobile phone roaming or trade borders. For example, certain electrical appliances or pharmaceuticals may no longer be transported from an EU country to the UK or vice versa.

You can buy British products in these online shops

If you are a fan of British products, you should still use the transition phase to shop there easily and safely. We recommend our certified online shop, for example, where you can find special sweets and teas. Buy British fashion or elegant furnishings at sells beauty products from British brands. You can find other online shops certified by us using our shop search.