Branded merchandise UK: Brexit! How it has affected our operations and what we are doing about it
Updated: Jan 15
We at JNI London have been closely following the developments in the Brexit trade talks as
the decisions made by our politicians will affect ours, and many other businesses across the
Although there is still the smallest glimmer of hope that a trade deal can still be hashed out,
we have had to take matters into our own hands.
The threat of a no-deal exit remains over our head and because we have several high-profile
clients and valued clients in Europe who are in need of an eye-watering amount of branded
merchandise, we have been forced to make contingency plans.
Business in Europe has really taken off in the last 5 years and we expect this trend to
continue, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. We were happy to learn that
the head offices for many of our key European clients are in Amsterdam. So we thought, we
should be in the Dutch Capital too.
And so, JNI BV has been born.
For those of you who don’t know, BV is a Dutch abbreviation and is short for besloten
vennootschap. It is the Dutch equivalent of a private limited company.
JNI BV is going to be our Dutch arm of European operations and the company has emerged
because we have a large quantity of merchandise that is going to be distributed across
Europe. Our previous plan was to have the merchandise brought to JNI London and then
from there we would distribute the merchandise back into Europe. However, due to the threat of a no-deal Brexit, this is no longer desirable.
The issue is that under WTO rules, we would be forced to pay 21% on all the merchandise
we distribute into Europe. We did the maths and this amounts to $000’s in tariffs and taxes.
We don’t want to complain because we know there are plenty of businesses in the UK who
will be dealing with very similar issues.
However, the uncertainty caused by the prospect of no-deal is very hard to navigate through.
It looks likely that we will not know whether a deal has been signed until the very last minute
and by that point it will already be too late for most businesses.
The creation of JNI BV is the result of a deal with just a handful of small, but important,
clients. Yet, in the future, we are going to be using our branch in the Netherlands for a lot
more work as we come to terms with the reality of the UK’s new relationship with the EU.
A new star is born
Over the last year, JNI has changed dramatically as we have responded to the challenges and needs of our clients. Our eCommerce webstores, which allow our clients to launch and track global gifting campaigns for all their employees and customers whilst they work from home, have been hugely successful.
We have seen sales for our webstores increase dramatically and this has caused a shift in
responsibilities and tactics for JNI London.
Whilst we continue to provide our clients with the technology to spread their brand across the globe, our various branches will allow us to keep on top of fulfilment and distribution.
Our fantastic CEO, Elizabeth Venz, has already expressed her excitement at the possibility of
spending more time in Amsterdam and more time growing JNI BV into an established
company at the heart of Western Europe.