Amazon warns UK sellers to prepare for no-deal Brexit disruption to deliveries

Disorderly exit from EU 'may temporarily prevent cross-border trade' tech giant tells small firms

Ben Chapman
Friday 18 January 2019 18:48 GMT
What does a no-deal Brexit mean?

Amazon has warned UK businesses trading through its online marketplace to prepare for a no-deal Brexit or risk not being able to sell to customers in the EU.

The company wrote to sellers in the UK to tell them that no deal “may temporarily prevent cross-border trade.”

With Theresa May’s Brexit deal rejected by MPs this week and no sign of a consensus emerging in Westminster around how to proceed, the UK risks crashing out of the EU on 29 March.

To ensure sellers are ready, Amazon said they should consider sending stock to its European fulfillment centres by 17 March.

In an email, Amazon said businesses should also “be prepared that any units in a UK fulfillment centre might not be fulfilled cross-border to EU customers”.

Retailers should maintain “the standard recommended minimum of four weeks of inventory coverage at all times,” Amazon said.

The rise of Amazon is frequently cited as a damaging trend for small businesses and high street shops. But it has also become a valuable source of sales for Britain’s small firms which can use the tech giant’s marketplace to reach a global audience.

Exports from UK sellers through Amazon increased by more than a quarter from £1.8bn in 2016 to £2.3bn in 2017.

The UK is set to leave the bloc in 70 days if Article 50 it is not revoked or extended – though the prospects of a negotiated deal by that point look increasingly slim due to limited time and deadlock in Westminster.

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