Plans for the Amazon Partnered Carrier Programme reinstatement for small parcels are under way, following the suspension of the service at the beginning of the year.
It appeared at the beginning of the year that between them Amazon and UPS who carry out the deliveries weren’t quite as ready for Brexit as everyone hoped and they hit problems with customs clearance due to paperwork not being correct. In January this led to the temporary suspension of all UK EU shipments until further notice and by the end of February Amazon washed their hands of the service and contacted sellers affected to cancel and reimburse the cost of impacted FBA shipments.
Now, Amazon have plans for the Partnered Carrier Programme reinstatement and behind the scenes have been working with UPS to build and test a revised workflow to address the customs documentation issues. The problems appear to stem from the requirement to have a customs representative to submit declarations and act on your behalf.
Amazon’s initial focus will be to support merchants who have an entity in both the UK and EU as they will require Direct Representation at customs.
Direct representation, means that the customs representative acts on behalf of you, however they do not accept responsibility for:
i) maintaining records
ii) providing an audit trail to customs
iii) paying customs debts. The party being represented is the declarant (in this case, the Selling Partner) and is obliged to meet all the obligations arising from the declaration.
For merchants who need Indirect Representation (i.e. don’t have an EU entity), Amazon working with carrier partners to introduce a service with launch to be announced at some point in the future.
Indirect representation, means the customs representative acts on your behalf but is jointly responsible for all customs debts and liabilities arising from the customs-related transactions. In this instance, the customs representative must maintain the full audit trail and is jointly and severally liable for all customs liabilities arising from an incorrect declaration.
More info about the programme is available on Amazon, but currently they appear to be inviting selected qualifying merchants to trial the Partnered Carrier Programme reinstatement before it is fully opened to all sellers able to offer direct representation.