Staff retention/recruitment issues at supplier
We have a number of employees who originate from the EU. However, all our employees hold permanent contracts with the company, and we do not expect any change to their status post-Brexit, as confirmed here:
Our employees have a minimum of one month’s notice period within their contract of employment, so were any EU staff to opt to return to their home country, the business would be able to recruit replacements.
Reliance on staff movement between EU & GB
The occasional travel undertaken by our staff will not be significantly impacted. Our group holds companies in Holland and France so it is in our interest to facilitate travel where required, but we do not envisage any issues.
Offshore manufacture or origin
A relatively small proportion of books which are supplied to customers are produced in the EU. Until the finer details of Brexit are confirmed, we cannot speculate about changes to border control for imports and exports. Nonetheless, we will continue to work with our suppliers, couriers and agents to ensure that any necessary changes to shipping processes conform with any new requirements imposed. We do not expect book supply to be impacted greatly, as our existing import process of books from non-EU countries is a very smooth operation.
Potential for extended lead times/delayed availability
There is some potential that the import process will be slightly interrupted while new regulations are put in place, meaning there may be delays to sourcing books from the EU. However, on the whole books are very easily moved between countries (including non-EU countries), so we do not imagine that this impact will be great. Our Demand Planning Team are tasked with ensuring our warehouse is sufficiently stocked to maintain adequate supply to our customers, and they are taking extended lead times into account in their planning for March 2019 and beyond.
Potential Tariff charges
We supply materials classified under WTO Tariff Code 49 (Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the print industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans). Zero VAT applies to these materials being imported from EU and non-EU countries, and we do not anticipate this changing post-Brexit.
The UK Information Commissioners Office has confirmed that the UK will continue to comply with GDPR regulations by the letter regardless of the Brexit outcome. GDPR will be adopted into law on 29th March under a UK DPA 2018 law. According to the regulations, the transfer of personal data to a non-EU country is prohibited unless that country has “an adequate level of data protection”. The UK meets that “adequate level” by maintaining GDPR’s rules. The UK will not be treated as a “third country”. As a company, we will need to update our Privacy Policies to a) amend the reference to the regulation with which we are complying and b) make it transparent that data will be transferred outside of the EU (i.e. within and to/from the UK). This will be actioned once the process has been confirmed by the UK government.
Exposure to foreign exchange volatility
As a UK based company, customers who require invoicing in GBP, is a large proportion of our business and therefore they are protected from currency fluctuations. However, there are occasions where we purchase materials in non-GBP currency and apply an exchange rate at the point of invoice. Doing this means that both parties should be largely protected from foreign exchange rate volatility.
Potential exposure to duties/tariffs if “no deal”
See above ‘Potential Tariff Charges’.
Potential of supplier withdrawal/relocation
We have no intention to relocate our company from its Norwich, UK headquarters.
Dependency/exposure to funding & investment availability
In February 2018, Dawson Books and the wider Bertram Group were purchased by Aurelius Equity Opportunities, a German investment company. They have purchased our company in full knowledge of the potential impacts of Brexit, and their group business strategy is centred around mid-long term investments. This gives us confidence that investment availability from them will not be affected by the UK leaving the EU.
Extent of EU market importance
Dawson’s primary market has always been, and still is, the United Kingdom. While we do supply customers within the EU, our largest international markets in terms of sales volume are non-EU.