To prepare for any potential impacts of Brexit, New Zealand businesses should take stock of the volume of their trade with the EU and the UK, how this trade is carried out, and any potential supply chain impacts. 

Supply Chain Management - if you have a European supply chain, Brexit may affect this. Find out more in this section.

Warehousing - Delays at the border may impact your warehousing needs. Find out some of the logistical considerations in this section. 

Partners - In this section you will find some considerations to ensure you and your partner businesses have a plan in place for Brexit.

Transport - Brexit may have an impact on transportation of goods. Learn more in this section. 

Supply Chain Management 

New Zealand companies with European supply chains should determine whether their chain may be affected by any changes to tariffs, customs requirements, border delays or new barriers (biosecurity or regulatory). Post-Brexit supply chains might change, and friction in a supply chain can often lead to additional costs.  

Companies are encouraged to map out their supply chain network to understand where they could face issues due to the potential border, trade, regulatory issues or delays post Brexit. Once this is known, it will be easier to consider what contingency plans might be needed.  

Key questions to answer when mapping your supply chain include: 

  • How do my goods enter or leave the UK? 
  • What borders do my goods cross? 
  • Where are additional components in my products sourced from? 
  • Will the facilities my company uses be able to cope with any potential additional administration and delays? 
  • Do I require an increase in warehouse capacity? 
  • Do I have UK suppliers? Are our suppliers sufficiently prepared? 
  • How resilient is my supply chain to any potential border delays? 

Companies should plan ahead to ensure continuity of supply to their partners and customers. You may need to discuss with your logistics provider whether you require any new arrangements.  

When reviewing your supply chain network, companies are encouraged to review supplier contracts to identify any areas that may be vulnerable. It may be helpful to consider how these may need to be strengthened or diversified to reduce risk. 

Potential supply chain issues in regards to the border such as customs and tariffs are discussed here.


When reviewing your logistics, companies may need to consider whether they require additional warehousing for their goods. If no deal is reached, there is a potential for delays at the border between the UK and the EU.  

When reviewing this need, companies may wish to consider: 

  • Are my goods non-perishable?  
  • For perishable goods – How long does it take to make deliveries with a border to cross?  
  • Can we buy forward? 
  • Do we need to increase our inventory and obtain any additional storage space? 
  • Do we need to hold stock in the UK and the EU to be able to service them both quickly? 
  • How much would delays cost my company per day? 


While you may have taken steps to prepare for Brexit, it is important to check that your partners have too. Now is a good time to connect with your partners and key third parties to ensure that your supply chain continues to run smoothly and to have a plan in place (such as who will bear the risk or cost of any customs delays). 

New Zealand companies may also want to consider whether they need to engage with:

  • Lawyers
  • Migration agents
  • Customs brokers
  • Freight forwarders
  • Logistics providers 
  • Banks
  • Insurers
  • Facility managers


The mode of transport that your company uses to move goods may be affected by Brexit. If no deal is reached, UK firms may not be able to transport goods between EU countries easily. 

If your company uses road travel for transporting goods, you should be aware that UK drivers licences may no longer be valid when driving in the EU if there is no deal. The UK Government has released guidance on driving in the EU if there is no Brexit deal.

Companies are encouraged to consider: 

  • What mode of freight does my company use? 
  • What is the cost of transporting my goods? 
  • Which ports do we use to transport our goods? 
  • Do we need to consider other ports? 
Europe insights

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