When the UK Transition agreement expires on the 1st of January 2021, there will be a number of changes to the way Amazon operates across the new UK-EU customs border:
Pan-European FBA inventory transfers will stop between the UK and the EU. However, Pan-European FBA will continue to proactively transfer inventory across the EU region.
FBA offers that are fulfilled via the European Fulfilment Network (‘EFN’) will not be fulfilled across the UK-EU border.
Minimal disruption is expected for goods sent by Selling Partners directly to UK or EU from outside of Europe (for example, from China or the US) into an Amazon Fulfilment Centre, as these goods already cross a customs border and the process is not expected to change in the UK or EU.
The above is because there will be a customs border in place and additional information will be required to verify the nature and value of the products moving across the border. This information needs to be provided by Selling Partners and Amazon does not have this information and so cannot move products on behalf of Selling Partners.
The FBA Export programme will still operate. However, as the majority of customers shop on their domestic store this is likely to only protect a small proportion of EU sales if they are currently made from the UK.
What is the difference between FBA Export and the EFN?
When selling through EFN, sellers must localise their existing marketplace offers to other Amazon European marketplaces to allow local customers to purchase them. For example, a Germany-based customer can purchase a UK seller’s offer listed on Amazon.de once the seller has registered its FBA UK-based products on the German marketplace.
When selling with FBA Export, sellers make their Amazon marketplace offers available to EU and worldwide customers who can purchase them on the marketplace where the seller has listed their offers. For example, a Netherlands-based customer can purchase a UK seller’s offer on Amazon.co.uk provided that the seller has activated FBA Export on the UK marketplace. Thus, if sellers sign up for FBA Export, their FBA products won’t automatically be listed for sale on other Amazon marketplaces.
These changes will require sellers that currently fulfil from the UK to review their supply chain. One solution will be to enable the Multi-Country Inventory (‘MCI’). MCI enables you to dispatch your FBA inventory to Amazon fulfilment centres in multiple countries of your choice across Europe. Storing inventory in another EU country will require a VAT registration in that country if you do not already have one, regardless of the volume of sales made from that territory.