operating environment throws up extensive challenges…..
On 1 January 2021,
the Universal Postal Union (UPU) introduced mandatory electronic advanced
data (EAD) notification for every individual cross-border commercial mail item destined
for delivery within the networks of designated postal operators worldwide.
In addition, current
developments at UPU level, in particular rising UPU tariffs, make the previous,
often preferred model of the “classic postal channel”— sender hands mail to a
non-EU postal operator which forwards it to an EU postal operator for customs
clearance and delivery — increasingly unattractive.
Users of this traditional
channel will need to look for new and efficient customs clearance and VAT
These solutions are independent
of the mail item delivery itself so that, following customs clearance, the
sender is free to choose the optimal delivery channel for these items within
the EU (e.g. remain within UPU channel, direct entry to the postal channel in the
EU, commercial delivery solutions).
….as well as opportunities
These omnichannel and
multicarrier solutions may increase complexity and the demand for local know-how, but they
also provide interesting options for reducing cost, boosting quality and
increasing control and flexibility along the delivery chain, starting well
before the collection of postal items and ending well after last mile delivery.
All of this will have
a significant impact on cross-border commerce and imports into the EU.
Global impact on logistics & commerce
The greatest impact
in the e-commerce market will be felt by shippers importing consignments of goods into the EU – not only those
based in the major Asian marketplaces, and eShops, but also shippers in markets
such as Switzerland, USA, Canada and Russia.
providers outside the EU, both designated postal operators and commercial
companies, face the same set of challenges.
They will need to implement
digitalized cross-border logistics solutions for imports into the EU, provide their
customers with relevant and flexible digital solutions, and comply with the new
rules and regulations – all whilst retaining their competitive edge.
No stone left unturned
The COVID-19 crisis is only accelerating this development.
Already, there are clear indicators that when cross-border transport
capabilities are reestablished, buyers will revert from their current local
focus to options in which the primary consideration is cost.
In 2021 we expect to see growth rates for inbound volumes to the EU of a
scale hitherto unknown — assuming that e-commerce market stakeholders can successfully adapt to
the new environment and create the digital capabilities required to exploit these
new business opportunities.
 Europe 2020 Ecommerce Region Report,
published by Ecommerce Europe & EuroCommerce  On 5 December 2017 the Council
adopted the VAT e commerce package consisting of:
Council Directive (EU) 2017/2455, Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2454, and Council Implementing
Regulation (EU) 2017/2459