Eight months on, sending vinyl into the EU is still a laborious process – and the workarounds aren’t too viable either…

Who could honestly have anticipated that signing a deal to leave a major trading block on Christmas Eve in the middle of a pandemic whilst another wave was happening would be a bad idea? Worryingly, the answer is not many people. So only now, many months later, are some of Brexit’s ramifications becoming clear.

Back on July 4th, I wrote about how even Discogs were having trouble understanding the new rules on British customers shipping vinyl and CDs into the European Union. Which didn’t leave much hope for the rest of us. Bandcamp have been having much the same issues with sales – and this is causing problems for labels such as Balkan Vinyl.

They can’t send out vinyl via Bandcamp without their customers in the European Union incurring a tax bill on the order side. Sending vinyl through their distributor costs the label money. Anyone trying to send vinyl from England, Scotland and Wales into the EU has to fill in a customs declaration form – but not if you’re based in Northern Ireland.

This has created a strange situation. Whilst Great Britain has to get used to a new system which is more bureaucratic, expensive and takes longer than before, residents in Northern Ireland can continue posting things the way they’ve been done since 1993. If you have a way of getting vinyl across the Irish Sea and posting it from Belfast, you have a way around the problem – but I suspect it’s not an option for many.

I don’t remember the Brexiteers telling us years ago that they wanted posting to the EU to be more expensive. Eight months on, and this is yet another self-inflicted problem they have absolutely no intention of fixing…