FACTS needed please – Paint ADR or not?

If there was a white ‘LQ’ diamond on the box (and there probably was one because things like that are usually packed so that they can be shipped without ADR) it’s exempt from ADR. You could carry a whole truckload with no training.

Posted under Hazardous Goods - ADR

Posted by Alec at 10:07 am, November 28, 2007

ADR Advice Needed

The basic rule is: if you don’t know whether you can carry it then you’re not qualified to carry it.

I think that most inert , non-toxic compressed gases are LQ1, so for you to be able to carry them under the Limited Quantity exemption they’d need to be under 120ml, packaged as multiple units and marked up as ‘LQ’. So basically you can’t carry anything bigger than a box of sodastream cartridges without training.

Your customer’s confusing the Limited Quantities exemption with the Small Loads exemption, which allows you to carry them with just ‘Awareness’ training if they’re below the thresholds laid out in ADR.
 

Posted under Hazardous Goods - ADR

Posted by Alec at 11:55 am, November 27, 2007

VAT on a courier collection that started in Guernsey?

Not quite Andy. That only applies to transport between 2 EU countries where the customer is based inside the EU but outside the UK.

If you carry out transport wholly within the UK then you have to charge VAT on it wherever your customer is based, EXCEPT if you carry out the UK leg of a delivery that starts or ends outside the EU. So if you were, for example, to collect goods from Portsmouth that had originated in the Channel Islands as part of a delivery from the Channel Islands to somewhere in the EU then you’re meant to zero-rate your charges.

The same is true if you collect goods from outside the EU from a freight forwarder for delivery in the UK – even though you’re just delivering UK to UK you’re meant to zero-rate the UK leg of the transport.

And if you’re delivering 100 consignments from various EU and non-EU countries on the same trip, on your round for TNT International say? According to the VAT office you’re meant to apportion the delivery costs to each consignment and zero rate the costs for the consignments that originated outside the EU!! And you’re meant to keep documentary evidence to justify the zero-rating.  http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageVAT_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000162&propertyType=document#P152_12255

Mostly everyone just ignores it and standard-rates everything, but if your customer is outside the EU and can’t reclaim the VAT then they could kick up a fuss if they wanted.

Posted under VAT

Posted by Alec at 6:04 pm, November 22, 2007

Ransom demand (lien)

Unless it’s particularly allowed for in your terms and conditions you can only exercise a lien over goods that are actually connected with the outstanding debt. So if you were owed money for storage you could hold the goods that you were storing against payment of the storage fees. You can’t exercise a lien over goods that you collect today as security for a debt that’s outstanding from last month.

Having said that, it would be a civil matter anyway and the only recourse the customer would have would be to sue you for any losses incurred by your wrongful detention of their goods.
 

Posted under Courier Financial Issues, Late Payment, Legal Issues

Posted by Alec at 12:29 pm, November 20, 2007

Are we in the quiet season yet/

It has seemed a bit slow recently but we’re running at about the same turnover as this time last year so no particular worries.

One thing I’ve noticed is that we’ve had LOADS of local owner-drivers phoning up looking for work, which is something I’ve never seen in October & November before, so it looks like there’s a bit of a slowdown up here.

Businesses all over are struggling with increased costs at the moment and I’m fully expecting to see a few more than the usual rash of liquidations and bankruptcies in January and February. It might be a good idea to put a bit more effort than usual into collecting those overdue accounts.
 

Posted under Uncategorized

Posted by Alec at 4:05 pm, November 19, 2007

Employment Law Advice Needed

No, don’t ring me Gail. Employment law isn’t my strong point at all and there are a lot of people on here who know far more about it than I do.

A lot would depend on what you were asking him to do (hours etc) and what his contract says. If he’s refusing to carry out his work then I’d have thought that you’re on pretty firm ground if you sack him. I’ve no idea whether you need to give him some sort of a warning first though.
 

Posted under Employment

Posted by Alec at 5:25 pm, November 15, 2007

Factoring

You’re not the only person to say good things about Skipton Andy and I’ve never had a problem with them when our suppliers have used them either. 3% is slightly on the high side, although not really excessive, charges tend to vary depending on your turnover, number of invoices and average invoice amount.

The 3% is only the service charge element of the fees (and don’t forget that’s payable on the whole invoice amount, including VAT), there’s also the interest on the actual funds advanced which could be anything between 2% & 6% over base rate. There are often other costs involved as well, so it pays to check out the small print properly.

Mick, the problem that your guy might have is that most factoring companies aren’t keen to lend when a large proportion of the sales ledger debt is owed by a single ‘prime debtor’. They tend to restrict the amount that they will lend based on invoices to any one debtor; either on the basis of a percentage of the total debt or a fixed ceiling for each debtor. So if you’re owed £90,000 by Megabucks Corp and a total of £10,000 by 20 other customers they might only fund 85% of the first £20,000 for Megabucks and 85% of the £10,000 – meaning that they’ll only advance you a total of £25,500 against your £100,000 sales ledger. I believe there are a few smaller factoring companies that don’t impose these restrictions, but, as with other companies offering loans that aren’t attractive to mainstream lenders, you need to be very careful about what you’re getting in to.
 

Posted under Courier Financial Issues

Posted by Alec at 9:50 am, November 15, 2007

Tachos & Speed Limiters for up to 3500kg

It’s bullshit. The EU directive that brought in compulsory speed limiters for 3.5-7.5t vehicles was passed in 2002 after 2 or 3 years of discussions and it still won’t be fully implemented until next January. As far as I’m aware there isn’t even a draft directive under discussion for the introduction of speed limiters for vans under 3.5t and even if there was you’d be talking at least 5 years in the future before they did anything about it.

The UK could always go it alone and pass our own legislation without an EU directive but they’d go through a full consultation process first and they haven’t even made noises about it being on the agenda.

Posted under Drivers' Hours, Vans

Posted by Alec at 8:44 pm, November 14, 2007