Brexit day is fast approaching, and there may be some impact on skydiving and equipment. Whilst there is still little in the way of detail about what kind of deal, if any, we may have after 29th March, we can make some educated guesses on what we can expect in various scenarios.
We are naturally not able to provide anything that constitutes legal or financial advice, this article is simply intended to offer a small insight into what the impacts may be on your skydiving gear purchases.
The vast majority of skydiving equipment is made in the US, with some coming from Australia and Europe. This naturally means that manufacturers sell in USD, AUD and EUR, so the exchange rate from GBP has a significant impact on pricing in the UK.
Over the last couple of years we have seen significant fluctuations in exchange rates. Normal market factors will always have an impact on this, but there are also correlations between large changes and political news and events. As we approach 29th March and more information is available on the details of our departure, expect to see some movement in the exchange rates and resulting changes in gear prices. Whether the rates will change positively or negatively; your guess is as good as ours!
There is also much discussion around tariffs which might be imposed in certain scenarios. Most skydiving equipment is subject to a duty rate of around 2.7%, so it is unlikely that additional tariffs from EU products would have a significant impact on price.
With most gear being imported, changes to border control are likely to have an impact on how quickly goods are able to enter the UK. If additional border checks are implemented, we would expect to see delays on goods arriving from the EU, with a possible knock on effect to goods arriving from the US and elsewhere.
We are therefore attempting to hold slightly higher levels of stock on products which we think may be at risk of delays, including L&B altimeters and Cypres and Vigil AADs. We are also training staff on manual processing of import paperwork to give us minimal reliance on third parties who may be overwhelmed by increased imports.
If you’re an EU based customer, it may take a little longer than before to receive goods from us, and your order may be subject to import fees in your home country. You will still be able to pay us in Euros, and you should see a smaller impact on price than those paying in GBP.
Without further information from the EU and the government on whether there will be a deal in place between the UK and EU on 29th March, and what that deal might involve, it’s very difficult to anticipate exactly what the impacts may be. We are closely following the progress in this area and we will continue to update this post as we know more.