Launched yesterday, the online portal could be accessed via The British Beauty Council’s website and addressed everything concerning the trade of cosmetics for those in goods or services. A resources tab provided links to government documents and videos, helplines, expert insights, and funding opportunities available to UK beauty businesses. A news tab also provided updates on ongoing issues relating to Brexit and other trade issues.
Victoria Brownlie, chief policy officer at The British Beauty Council, said the overall aim of the hub was to cut through the “jargon” and keep companies up-to-speed on trade changes and requirements.
Troubleshooting beauty Brexit ‘uncertainty’
“The purpose of the hub is to assist businesses starting their trading journey outside of the UK but also help businesses navigating their way through the various changes as a result of Brexit,” Brownlie told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
There had been plenty of “uncertainty” amongst beauty businesses in the run up to Brexit, she said, particularly around the impact it would have on trade relationships and legal requirements. Many businesses, she said, had been “playing catch up” and “on the back foot” ahead of trade rule changes enforced last month on January 1, 2022, with labelling requirements proving a “particular challenge” and taxes and VAT changes hitting some hard.
“We hope that the hub will act as a ‘go to’ space for all the information businesses might need to troubleshoot any problems they’re experiencing, where previously this information was dotted about in a multitude of places,” she said.
Beyond Brexit – ‘new pathways opening up’
Brownlie said, longer-term, the hub would be a “central resource” for insight and information on all global trade opportunities and requirements for UK beauty businesses, beyond Brexit and European Union (EU) issues.
“We are also seeing new pathways opening up, such as China and Australia, which we will help businesses explore too,” she said. Over time, The British Beauty Council would expand the hub to cover all major trading areas, she said, including Asia, the Americas and Australasia, proving especially valuable for industry SMEs.
“The smaller businesses within our sector are particularly challenged in respect of international growth,” she said. “Bigger businesses are able to employ dedicated staff to manage and navigate the various requirements for trading overseas, however SMEs, who account for more than 90% of the sector, are unlikely to be able to do the same thing, putting them at a disadvantage.”
To support UK beauty businesses wanting to grow beyond the domestic market – where there were some “fantastic opportunities” – she said the hub would offer an “ever-evolving space” regularly updated as new trading relationships were built and rules inevitably changed.
Beauty business after Brexit
For more insight on business considerations around Brexit, see below for a selection of CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s key coverage on the issue.