With the Conservatives winning the UK election on 12th December 2020, they had no problems in getting Boris Johnsons Brexit deal passed on the 20th December 2019. If the European Parliament agrees to the deal the UK will officially leave on the 31st January 2020. As a deal has been done there will be a transitional period which will run until 31st December 2020. At this point technically all the trade deals and other related legislation will be in place  with the EU and trade will then continue under these rules.

It is still possible for the UK to leave under a NO DEAL situation if the UK and EU are unable to agree final separation terms during the transitional period. In this case this would also happen on the 31st December 2020.

News Category: BREXIT

The new 2020 Incoterms to replace the current 2010 versions are now published. When negotiating freight terms in contracts it is important to be clear which Incoterms are being used. If not specified from the 1st January it will be assume that the new version applies. Efforts have been made by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to make the terms much easier to use. They have adopted a new layout in the hope of reducing the common error of using the wrong Incoterms. Often both shippers and buyers have not released they are selling or buying under the wrong term until something goes wrong.

The new format endeavours to make it much easier to establish the differences and the responsibilities which each Incoterm comes with.

It is important for all shippers and buyers remember Incoterms are contractual and failure to supply the goods under these terms or as a buyer understand which term you are buying on may leave you liable for additional costs

The international Chamber of Commerce have highlighted the following rule changes:

  • The difference in in insurance terms between CIF and CIP
  • On board notation on Bills of lading under FCA terms
  • DAT is changed to DPU
  • Carriage using the seller’s or buyer’s own vehicles in DAP,FCA,DPU and DPP
  • Security related issues haved been added to the carriage obligations and costs
  • Both the format and title has been changed in Explanatory Notes for Users

Our Incoterms will be update to reflect the new 2020 terms.

News Category: Shipping

We have changed from October 2019 to using 2017 BIFA Conditions. The new trading conditions reflect the changes which have incurred in the logistic industry since 2005. All quotations offered through this website and our company are under these 2017 terms. While most of the clauses have just had minor updates applied to them. Three clauses shippers need particular to pay attention to are:

  1. The extensions of Clause 17 which deals with SOLAS and the requirement to supply a verified gross mass(VGM) for all container shipments
  2. The jurisdiction of any claim which is covered in Clause 28 has been changed allowing a member to choose arbitration rather than litigation to deal with a dispute.
  3. There is a new clause to deal with issues when a client does not pay for the freight service.

Two other areas of change are more clearly defining the role of the a direct representative and the wording has been updated on Union Customs Codes reflecting the changed EU regulations .

Copies of the new BIFA Conditions are available to download from the help pages or directly here
News Category: AJF News

We are still seeing potential shippers and consignees trying to ship extra goods in containers without declaring them. Most of the time these goods are either personal effects or gifts being sent without any commercial transaction being involved. Simply there is space left in the shipping container and it seems an obvious option to use it up.

You CANNOT do this without declaring the items on the packing list/shipping manifest. Even if they are you own goods they still MUST be declared. If you container is inspected by the local importing customs officials they will be a best unhappy and worst seize the goods (or even the entire container). This applies to virtually all countries.

The goods can be just given a nominal value on any shipping invoice if they are gifts or in the case of personal effects all items must be fully listed. Note you cannot declare a 5000USD item as a 10USD gift. Most customs have systems in place to notice undervalued items and will issue there own valuation and also a fine.

In summary again everything must be declared. If unsure you should speak to you importing customs broker or freight forwarder BEFORE the container is shipped

News Category: Shipping


Current BREXIT Date: 31st January 2020

In order to make the BREXIT transition easier for organisations the UK government is introducing a transitional simplified procedure (TSP) when import goods. Traders registered for TSP will not need to make a full customs declaration at the border and will also be able to defer paying their customs duties.

Organisations which wish to use the TSP systems will have meet the following requirements:

  1. Be established in the UK
  2. Have an EORI Number
  3. Have the intention to import goods into the UK from the EU

There trader must then follow a set procedure either directly or through their appointed freight forwarder or customs broker on declaring the goods. More information can be found on the TSP page in our BREXIT guidance section.

For more information on BREXIT. See our general guidance which can be found here
News Category: BREXIT


Current BREXIT Date: 31st January 2020

As part of the BREXIT preparation the UK governments have automatically given every company who is VAT registered an EORI number. If you have a stand alone VAT number then the EORI number will just be your VAT number with three zeros added at the end.

If you are part of a VAT group then you will need to check to see what your EORI number is. You may need to make a new application for your own EORI number.

Non VAT registered sole traders and organisations will still need to apply through the HM Customs website for an EORI number. You will need one if you are buying or selling from the EU once BREXIT happens.

EORI numbers are free from HM Customs. If you are asked to pay for them then you are not dealing with HM Customs and do not proceed
News Category: BREXIT

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The UK Customs has changed the way to apply for EORI numbers in the UK. They are no longer accepting any more emailed C220 application forms and it all applications now have to be submitted through an online form @ www.hmrc.gov.uk. This applies to both non-VAT and VAT registered applicants.
If you are already vat registered in the UK you can check if your VAT number is set up as an EORI by adding ‘000’ to the end of it and then entering it in the EORI checker at this address by clicking here: EU EORI Validation Checker (takes you off this site to the EU site). If it confirms valid then you do not need to do anything further.
If it says invalid then you need to apply to have your VAT number registered as an EORI by filling in the form at this address on the HM Customs site: EORI VAT Registered in the UK
If you are not VAT registered within the UK, depending on whether you are importing or exporting, you need to apply for an EORI number on the HM Customs site. For Imports you need to got to this form here: EORI Non VAT Registered – Import and for exports you need to go here: EORI Non VAT Registered – Export

We cannot no longer submit EORI applications on you behalf. If you have any queries regarding the application process you need to use the HM Customs help for here: EORI Contact Form.



News Category: Shipping


The newspaper headlines and finance sites have been full of stories about India’s economy going to beat China’s growth by 2016 or 2017 according to which export who you prefer to belive. In this case it is two world heavy weights the IMF otherwise know as the international monetary fund and the World Bank. So it would seem that after year’s of living in China’s shadow the India economy is finally going to start to leave up to the potential it has been showing for the past decade.

However unfortunately it is more due to China’s downturn in economic growth which is going to make it happen then what is going on in India. According to the predictions given by these two heavy weight bodies.

Instead, it is China’s slowing growth that’s making India look better. While India’s growth is only going remain around 6.3% over the next 2 years it is the fact the China’s economy is going to slow down so much that it gives India the ability at long last to over take is neighbour.

Finally a lot of India’s future growth is going to depend on Modi’s success in getting his business reforms passed through. If he succeeds in getting at this done, then India may finally may be able stand clear of its neighbour as a true economic power. It certainly has the potential to do so.
Though as a final footnote there is may European countries who would be having parties if the IMF or World bank predicted growth greater than 6% and after all growth is still growth.

If you are looking to expand into India and need help and guidance in doing this, then our wealth of experience and contacts are here to help you at Andrew James Forwarding. Contact us with you requirements and we will see how we can help you.

News Category: Odds&Ends

Start of a year and the issues of limited haulage available from Felixstowe has begun to decline. It is now much easier to get haulage availability within a few days of being required, rather than the 2 weeks it was taken at the peak of the issue. Whether this availability is just for the short term and shortages will increase again as soon as demand picks up again we will see in the next few months.

News Category: Shipping News

It is always important to ensure who ever is packing your goods into shipping containers knows how to correctly stow them. We see many containers where the goods packaging has been damaged and in some cases the actual goods as well. Damage to the cartons is particularly important if they are going straight out to the end buyer. Nobody likes receiving boxes which are squashed, torn  or generally misshapen.


Often the issues we see could have been avoided with a little care. As seen in the photo below. The box on top of the other box probably was fine when initially packed in, but due to not being stacked directly on top of the other one and combined with being some space inside the box. As the container has move it resulted in the box settling and distorting. All because a little care was not taken when initially loaded.

Squashed Boxes

Poor stacking which causes boxes collapsed



Crush damage due too much weight being placed ontop of another box is further typically seen issue. Again what often happens is that boxs which can be stacked say 5 high in stable warehouse, when loaded into a container which then spends 4 weeks rocking back and forth while in transit, causes the bottom boxes to become squashed and in worst cases torn open. It is important to ensure that the cartons goods are shipped in are strong enough to be stacked the same in container as in a warehouse

News Category: Shipping