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Small dealers are concerned that Brexit could undermine the UK’s antique trade. politics

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Many traders, who have indulged the British bargain hunters for decades with vans of antiques and collectibles from France, fear that Brexit will overturn specialty deals as open markets and vintage shops reopen.

Those who import everything from farmhouse tables to Art Deco mirrors and vintage dresses are afraid to be hampered by the intricate documentation required for each item in the van.

It’s weird to have this level of restriction and trouble with paperwork and import and export. Covered in dust, sitting in the attic, otherwise it would have been sent to the trash. Rebecca Slade runs Sunless Antiques in St Leonards-on-Sea with partner Adam Freeman.

Previously, we traveled through France in a van, buying stock from antique fairs, vendors we know, flea markets, and other sources. We will go to the border and return to England without friction and extra cost, Freeman said.

The antique industry can be destroyed by all of this. Antique fairs in the UK are usually full of European merchandise and selling by European dealers now seems impossible. London and England, the centers of trade, may disappear.

He added: Many fellow traders who have been selling for decades, from large antiques to professional art traders, and small traders selling regular Brokant goods at British flea markets, have not yet found a solution.

The point of the matter is not only the fact that customs declaration is required for each item, but also the item number and age of antique or vintage clothing for VAT purposes.

Ed Cruttenden, who runs the Sunbury antique hyperpair at Surrey’s Kempton Park racecourse, raised another concern. change.

There are women who make glass and ceramics. It would be a logistics minefield that had to itemize every piece she brings, Cruttenden said.

Adam Freeman and Rebecca Merrill at the Sunless Antiques store in St Leonards-on-Sea. Photo: Rebecca Merrill

Part of the problem, Freeman said, stems from the fact that the French seller is not an official exporter, so you will not necessarily know the age or commodity code of the dusty old armchair or lamp that appeared in the probate sale. Another issue is VAT (antiques can be rated 0 or 5%).

For a bottle of wine, there will be codes for the type of grapes and alcohol content, but using antiques is a pity and leaves income in the hands of government officials who can seize or return items without specialized knowledge.

I want to declare a 1950s lamp, said Francis Fowler, a West Sussex restoration company. Type it into a search engine to get the number you entered in the form. Does not come. A 20% VAT will be charged for lighting. If I put in the usual antique lighting, it still doesn’t appear.

Mayor Kenton is reopening for the first time since the recent April 13 closure, Cruttenden added that he hopes the government will be able to provide some answers, adding that he will welcome anyone to come and talk to his traders to explore the future. .

It really is a minefield. Whether it’s not black and white [dealers] You can take things with you or not, he added.

The open-air market is the lower end of the antiques segment, but it’s not real. Kempton’s Sunbury Antiques Fair attracts around 700 sellers and thousands of sellers from Newark, Nottinghamshire, Europe’s largest.

Two chairs have been moved from the Sunbury Antique Market in Sunbury, England. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Freeman said the government should account for the chaos and confusion, the damage and costs to livelihoods and small businesses.

Kathyrn Singer, Director of Strategy and Operations at the British Antique Dealers Association, said he hopes the UK government will find a way to deal with merchants through some sort of rework to help people transport their goods for trade purposes.

There was undoubted confusion in the antiques market, but she believed it would be back to normal once shippers and dealers on both sides of the channel got their hands on Brexit.

One source said some freight forwarders are the most entrepreneurial in the export business, and some may even enter Kempton to help people get things done.

HM Revenue & Customs said: There is no general mitigation for import costs for used goods. This means customs declarations will be required and import taxes will be levied unless certain reliefs apply.

Customs declarations were required from January 1st, but the UK added that the entire declaration deadline was postponed until January next year.

HMRC also recommended six methods for calculating tariffs in effect after Brexit on this government web page, which consists of 41 pieces.

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