Trade Hub for beauty businesses battling higher costs and confusion post-Brexit

by | Feb 1, 2022

Complaints of higher costs and confusion of post-Brexit trading rules have resulted in a new trade hub by the British Beauty Council to help personal care businesses navigate their way through the jargon.

The British Beauty Council has reported that many businesses in the personal care sector are confused by the new Brexit rules and are anxious that costs are increasing as they try to recover from the pandemic. Some businesses have reported that logistics costs for raw materials and products have doubled, while some higher courier and delivery costs have trebled.


Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer at the British Beauty Council, says: “We continue to highlight issues and barriers to trade that are affecting the sector, with government. However, on a day-to-day basis, whilst the repercussions of Brexit remain challenging for business owners, they still need to navigate their way through to remain operational and successful. We have taken this on board and aim to help them make a success by sharing information, cutting through the jargon and keeping them up to date with ongoing changes and requirements.”


It is two years ago that Brexit day marked the end of the UK’s membership in the European Union and the start of a two-year “transition period” that was completed at the end of last year. Since 1st January 2022, new rules have been in place for businesses moving goods between Britain and Europe.


The new online trade hub initially aims to cut through the maze of post-Brexit rules with easy to find guides on exporting and importing goods, together with all you need to know about new VAT rules. It will also host videos, details on relevant support funds and news on the latest developments. The hub will evolve to include information on trading with the US and Asia.



Victoria adds: “We have created the hub to help businesses navigate through the process of trading overseas, whether this is the start of their journey or one that they are already on but experiencing bumps in the road. We want a British beauty sector with strong global visibility and a fantastic reputation for quality products. This forms a key part of the British Beauty Council’s focus on growth.”


The changes apply to all European trade, whether firms buy or sell goods once a year or every day, and no matter what type, volume or value – so all businesses need to be prepared. Yet a recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses found that only one in four SMEs, which will be impacted by the new rules, are ready. A third said that they were unaware of their new requirements.


“We all knew that Brexit would impact our business in two significant ways: compliance and commerce. But none of us had any idea how difficult it was going to be to cut through all the guidance we need to comply without interrupting our trade with EU countries. 
Navigating the crushing new taxes and fees on B2B business into the EU, with VAT introduced across all states at the local rate, is one thing. Managing packaging compliance has been quite another. The new hub is a much-needed go-to place for beauty businesses. We will continue to navigate some of the policy challenges that Brexit has caused our industry, updating the hub constantly and fighting on behalf of our small business owners that make up 95 per cent of the UK’s beauty industry.”

– Kate Shapland, co-founder of lifestyle cosmetic brand Legology and the British Beauty Council


The UK’s beauty industry employs more than 600,000 people, of which more than 80 per cent are women. At £30bn, the beauty industry contributes more to the UK economy than pubs, which contribute £23bn a year.


Click here to explore the Trade Hub.

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