ELLE Decoration (UK)
BREXIT AND THE DESIGN WORLD
The UK Government is encouraging all of us to adapt to new import and export rules
Did you know that permits are now required to move certain materials between Great Britain and the European Union, and
Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Brexit has ushered in a new era of importing and exporting and now that the UK has left the EU, it’s no longer covered by the blanket permissions that enabled free movement of goods between its nations. This will influence not just how brands source the materials they use, but also your own buying decisions. So if you’ve been eyeing up a beautiful teak cabinet from a Parisian boutique, for example, you’ll need to make sure you understand the new regulations. This is essential knowledge for industry insiders and design lovers alike.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement protecting more than 37,000 species of animals and plants (including both live specimens and products made from parts). Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December last year, any UK-based business or individual hoping to import or export items on this list to or from the EU
– items such as rosewood, teak, mahogany or ebony furniture, for example – will need to file paperwork at least 30 days in advance. The permits they’ll receive will be valid for six months, and goods should be transported through one of 29 designated ‘UK Points of Entry and Exit’. Those who plan to move CITES products outside of Great Britain will also need to check the requirements of the intended import country with the relevant authorities.
Other products affected include taxidermy; whalebone used in vintage garments; whale teeth, jewellery made using tortoiseshell, shells or coral; skin creams made with caviar; bags, belts or purses created with crocodile or snake skin; and any worked ivory items that are exempt from the 2018 ban (such as some carvings, jewellery, piano keys and decorative inlays). So you’ll need to check whether any products you wish to transport are CITES-protected and if so, ensure you secure the right paperwork in advance.
Thankfully, your days spent sourcing vintage mahogany Directoire chairs from France are not over – it will just take a little more planning and consideration. Armed with the right knowledge, consumers can continue to create inspiring interiors as the British design world adapts to a post-Brexit landscape. Check the guidance, make the changes and let’s get going. Visit gov.uk/transition