Following the EU referendum result in June 2016, the United Kingdom has ceased to be a member of the European Union on 31st January this year.
We have been monitoring the Brexit process daily, and considering how it may affect the services we provide to our customers, authors, and retailers, particularly those based in the United Kingdom. As we ship our books all over the world, we understand some of our customers not based in the UK, will also have some concerns about the impact Brexit may have. Listed below, are actions we have taken throughout the year in an effort to continue our customers with a high-level of service.
At SRL Publishing, we’re prepared for the possibility that the United Kingdom will be trading with the European Union under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules from 1st January onwards. For those who follow the news closely, leaving the EU without a deal is becoming more and more likely. The steps below, are based on a No Deal Brexit, and we are prepared as much as we can be. As the transition period ends in a matter of days, we know that there could potentially be some delays as we settle into 2021.
Steps we are taking
Our focus has been on taking sensible steps to prepare for such an event and minimise any disruption to the services we provide to our customers.
Our contingency planning for our business has focused on the following areas.
1. Supply of Materials for the Production of Books
We have been working closely with our EU suppliers to ensure they get the correct documentation in place so they can continue to import various materials they need, including paper, board, and inks. However, our suppliers have already taken steps throughout 2020 to double the amount that they hold on hand in the UK. If there is a breakdown in supply of these materials from the EU, we have contingency plans in place to switch sourcing to a US based supplier.
2. Shipping Books into the EU in a WTO scenario
SRL Publishing and it’s supplier ships books into countries around the world who already operate under WTO rules so we are familiar with what is required. Our suppliers are working with their freight suppliers to be able to switch to WTO rules for shipping into EU countries, should that be required. In the event of a breakdown at the UK/EU borders, we have contingency plans in place to switch production to our US facilities and ship into the UK/EU from there, should that be needed.
3. Other Supply Issues
We have listed more procedures we have in place in an effort to maintain continuity of supply into the EU.
a. Supply from the United States
Our US based book supplier, has been selling books in USD to countries around the world for over 30 years. We have a number of retailers in the EU who buy direct from this supplier. As we already have our titles available in the US for US customers, our titles can be made available in the US to our EU customers, should this be required.
b. Supply from our EU Network
Our suppliers network includes four print-on-demand companies based in EU countries: Germany, Poland, Italy, and Spain. This enables customers within those countries to buy our books locally, priced in Euros, with manufacturing within the EU.
c. Review of EU Accounts
We have been reviewing our EU accounts with our suppliers and retailers and checking to see if they already have a US account. If they do not, we have been talking about opening a USD account with them to provide another alternative supply chain in the event of serious disruption to our supply from the UK.
Will this affect our climate positive status?
In short, no. SRL Publishing works with suppliers who are environmentally responsible as well, and not use papers sourced from endangered old growth forests, forests of exceptional conservation value, or the Amazon Basin.
We will still continue with our strong environmental ethos, and we will still plant trees and still support projects that remove CO2 emissions. SRL Publishing Ltd will always remain 100% committed to improving environmental performance by driving down CO2 emissions and reducing, reusing and recycling waste, regardless of global political outcomes.