Demand grows for frictionless Customs between Benelux and the UK with Europa Road

A year after Europa Road’s launch onto the road freight market, with a unique DDP (delivery duty paid) export service to the UK the “Europa Flow” system is gaining traction, with increased demand by businesses across the region.

Operator Europa Road BV has revealed that 12 months after the launch of its innovative DDP service, accounts for 56 per cent of its total groupage exports.

The challenges of additional customs checks, costs and the need to engage consignees in what is now a more complex Customs process has been a problem for exporters since Brexit. It was reported that between 2018 and 2021 trade from the EU to the UK was around 18 per cent lower than it would have been without Brexit. Belgium’s export of goods to the UK specifically fell by 13 per cent.

To tackle this, Europa Road launched a market-leading DDP service from its dedicated local branches in Belgium and the Netherlands. Using a combination of DDP, postponed VAT accounting and pre-lodged declarations, this unique service is making it easier for businesses based in the Benelux to serve the UK market.

Europa Road’s UK headquartered parent company developed and launched Europa Flow in 2021. Investing 5.8m euros in the system which manages all customs formalities so that goods are not delayed by additional paperwork, and customers aren’t faced with unexpected additional fees.

At a time when EU exporters continue to face significant additional complexities of paying import duties, VAT and customs clearances post-Brexit, Europa Flow combines advanced technology with customs expertise on both sides of the channel, providing support to EU businesses exporting to the UK.

Regional Sales Manager for Benelux Jack Baxter comments: “The use of Europa Flow is growing steadily month on month, with February figures our highest performing since we launched the service.

“This provides us with clear evidence that Europa Flow is what the Benelux needs. Our customers are generally mid-sized operations who need to regularly export to the UK but are not large enough to set up their own customs entity in the UK. Most businesses simply don’t have the ability to sort customs clearance on the UK side of the channel by specialist finance teams. But by using DDP incoterms with Europa Flow this takes care of Customs declarations and duty requirements prior to collection, easing costly, complex paperwork burdens. This service is helping us protect trade from Netherlands and Belgium and is improving services into the UK.”

Trade between both Belgium and Netherlands and the UK is important and, though exports are lower that before Brexit, they are on the increase. Belgium exports to the UK were worth €37.9 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023 (an increase of 4.1 percent compared to the same period in 2022) according to latest figures released on 22 February.

Jack continued: “Despite the growth in demand, because of Brexit we still come across several different businesses that have stopped trading with the UK because of the customs challenge. But now we can offer a tangible, proven solution which is being used across a broad range of industries from components to finished goods. Our customers sectors vary from furnishings to gardening equipment, and packaging to preserves.

Businesses across Benelux are contending with continued economic challenges with geopolitical issues impacting supply chains, despite this we are at least able to target the post Brexit customs challenge head on with Europa Flow.”

Europa Road was previously known as Continental Cargo Carriers, changing its name in 2022. Subsequently, the originally Oostende based firm expanded further by establishing a Dutch office in Rotterdam in February 2023.