News & Events

Suffolk Skincare Brand Rises to Brexit Challenge

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

26 January 2020

SBC Skincare proudly reached its 30-year anniversary in 2020, in what was a challenging year for most businesses. The Suffolk-based company remains an independent, family-run, skincare specialist with customers throughout Europe and beyond.

As a global brand, SBC manufactures then sends large shipments of face and body care products, along with hand wash, sanitisers and creams, to locations across Europe. As with all companies dealing with Europe, Brexit required plenty of planning, so a small team of individuals were tasked with overseeing the transition.

The team, based in Needham Market and Stowmarket, worked hard to ensure shopping channel QVC, in Germany and Italy, still received their orders on time, following Britain’s exit from the EU on January 1st. Knowing that changes to the paperwork were needed but faced with conflicting information from a variety of sources, meant things were far from straightforward. December was incredibly busy, with time spent checking guidance, reading information on the Government website, talking to specialists and attending webinars.

SBC wasn’t alone in trying to work out how to keep things moving seamlessly, freight companies were also unable to quote or commit to bookings for 2021. This meant that SBC couldn’t arrange movement of their goods, prior to the Christmas break.

Investigations showed that the biggest problem wasn’t going to be the duty or the physical freight, it was the VAT implication and a tax specialist was needed. With professional expertise found, the process was nailed down and the business started to pull the many, complex, strands together.

The first weeks of January have been very busy, following the UK’s exit from the EU. With more factors and issues now understood, it was easier to plan. What quickly became obvious, was that SBC couldn’t continue to trade with their European customers under past terms. Not only did all the paperwork have to be updated in order to ship the goods, but contracts had to be changed too. All with large, existing, orders already in place and deadlines to meet.

Perseverance and determination paid off last week when all documentation was in place and the first lorry of skincare favourites left Suffolk and safely arrived with QVC in Germany. A further two lorries were loaded on Friday and were received on Monday 25 January.

Staff remain incredibly busy, with another four lorries being loaded at the Stowmarket warehouse yesterday, bound for Germany. These will be followed by a further four lorries leaving for Italy.

The team’s hard work has paid off, as everything is now in place to continue supplying customers across Europe.

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