A new trade hub has been established by the British Beauty Council (BBC) to help personal care businesses ‘navigate their way through the jargon’ of the post-Brexit trading landscape.

Beauty and personal care SMEs confused over new trading rules and increased logistics costs for raw materials and couriers following the UK’s departure from the EU can now benefit from targeted support. The Trade Hub offers up-to-date information about changing requirements; assistance in ‘cutting through the jargon’ and understanding ‘the maze of post-Brexit rules’; guidance on exporting and importing goods; and concise information on new VAT rules. It also plans to host video content and share insights into trading with Asia and the US.

On the hub’s landing page the BBC acknowledges that ‘recent developments have made overseas trading more challenging’ and positions the support as a way of helping beauty businesses to navigate their way to ‘potentially new and exciting’ international customer bases. “If you’re baffled by Brexit or keen to explore the burgeoning beauty scene in China, check out the information below and start your journey here,” the site says.

Victoria Brownlie, the BBC’s chief policy officer, comments: “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.

The new hub is a much-needed go-to place for beauty businesses

“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.”

Despite the changes applying to all European trade – regardless of frequency of sale, volume or value – a recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses reported that just one in four SMEs were prepared for their impact and a third of companies said they were unaware of the new requirements.

Kate Shapland, BBC and Legology co-founder, says: “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% of the UK’s beauty industry.”