Notice of suspension of trade outside the UK from 10th December
Trade to England, Wales and Scotland is unaffected by the below information.
EDIT 18.01.21: We've restarted shipping to countries outside of Europe. Once we've tested that out sufficiently, we intend to reopen trade to Europe too. We're planning to repeat all the discount codes our international customers have been missing out on once we have every country back up and running and we've ironed out any issues. Thanks for bearing with us during this time.
EDIT 06.01.21: Sort of good news: We've found out that the majority of the products we offer won't be eligible for the zero tariff arrangement anyway, so while it does mean they'll sadly attract duties, taxes and clearance fees when they enter EU countries, it does mean we should be able to restart trade sooner than anticipated. Also it turns out that the new VAT collection rules only apply to merchants selling into the UK from outside, so that's not an issue. We're just waiting now for our integration providers to confirm they are compliant with the new export rules and then we should be on the way to reopening trade.
EDIT 31.12.20: We've been informed that the rules for Northern Ireland will not be enforced until the end of March so trade will hopefully be able to continue for now. For customers in the EU we have just also been informed that in order to benefit from the zero tariff trade agreement, we have to provide evidence of the country of origin for every single product. Even if our suppliers are able to quickly start providing certificates of origin, we have a huge amount of stock already in our warehouse which does not. Added to that, if we are to restart trade with EU countries, we will be required to collect VAT on orders valued below £135 but not for orders above that. This will mean a rewrite of all our systems in order to distinguish between them and report correctly. In short, it's going to be a fair while longer before we're in a position to restart trade outside of the UK. Sorry folks.
EDIT 11.12.20: International trade has now been temporarily suspended. Aftercare will still continue as normal, so you can return items and check on your delivery etc., however, all returns will need to be refunded via your original payment method. Please see below for an explanation and to sign up for a notification when international trade restarts.
UK (AKA United Kingdom, Great Britain, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Channel Islands) continues as normal, however, please allow for potential long delays to Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.
As many of you are aware, we are an extremely small company, only 3 full time employees, including me (Kate) and 1 part time employee working remotely. 3 of us, including myself, are mothers with small children.
I already have 20 different government guidance papers to read and react to, in order to keep trading outside of the UK (and possibly also to Northern Ireland) after Brexit, from 1st January. This is even without a deal actually in place, so the guidance may change and much of it seems non-committal anyway. It is by far our busiest time of year and not a great time to be preparing for such major changes, especially as they are yet to actually be finalised. Added to this, we are being told by our carriers that all customs information must be electronically transmitted at the point of sending. We have worked through our entire catalogue adding the information to each and every product variation, only to be told by our integration providers, that they are not ready, as they dispute the requirement.
The main thing I strived for, right from the very start, was to provide the sort of customer service I would hope to receive. Sadly, I can't confidently guarantee this for my international customers in the aftermath of Brexit, as I am conscious that there is a very high chance of international orders being stuck in customs or ports, or stuck waiting to begin the customs process, or returned due to rules that haven't yet been understood or even agreed upon.
Furthermore, all our international tax rate settings and terms and conditions would need to change over night on New Years Eve if we were to continue trading seamlessly. Since having kids, the only time I'm awake past midnight is when I'm dealing with some kind of kid emergency whist still half asleep, or on the very, very rare occasion that I'm fuelled by more Vodka than is advisable.
It is with a heavy heart, that I have therefore decided to temporarily suspend trading outside of the UK, until we have had time to get to grips with all the rule changes. We will start this on Thursday 10th December to make sure that as many orders as possible, safely reach their destination before the end of the year.
If you are not in the UK and are considering placing an order with us soon, please do so on or before Thursday 10th December. On Friday 11th December, I will be suspending the option to have orders placed from any other country.
I'm including all countries outside of the UK in this suspension, at least to begin with, regardless of whether they are in the EU because of the concerns with electronic customs data reporting and fears of long delays at UK ports.
We will obviously restart trading outside the UK as soon as possible and I'm sure there will be a nice discount to welcome back our lovely international customers and apologise for the gap in service. Please sign up below if you would like to be notified when this happens.
I want to apologise personally to all my loyal international customers, I truly hope to reconnect with you all on the other side of this. Hopefully very soon!