Europe Day (9th May) is upon us this week. In light of this, we have been thinking about the impact a withdrawal from the EU could have on our day-to-day lives in the promotional marketing industry.

The true impact of what will actually happen remains to be seen once all laws have been amended and negotiated throughout Europe. It will certainly not be a quick and easy process. But we are here to make it as painless as possible for you.

If you are planning a sales promotion campaign in one or a number of European countries over the next few months, here’s a handy checklist to consider:

Postage Costs

In the event of a No-Deal Brexit, postage costs and timings are likely to change. The Royal Mail website has created a useful page which will advise on any changes that are incoming. You can check this out here. A quick overview from the Royal Mail website states the following:

“Expect the rules which apply to non-EU imports to be extended to EU items in the UK. Similarly, we would expect the EU to treat UK imports as it does non-EU imports today.”

If postage costs rise, this will have an impact on running a promotion across multiple territories and being able to dispatch prizes to customers. This will affect promotions under the Gift with Purchase or Click to Win / Instant Wins mechanics. Brands will no longer be able to rely on the EU postage network to get items to their destination at the EU standard negotiated rates; and in a timely manner – there is no telling how long it might take a package to reach another country.

Bank Charges

The Government has indicated that the cost of card payments between the UK and EU will likely increase, you can read more about that here. We have handled a multitude of sales promotions across Europe that have required bank transfers to be made. Bank Transfers are particularly common in Money Back Guarantees (see our multi-territory Asics promotion here) and Try Me Frees where you are charged a certain amount per transaction. Currently for Scandinavian countries bank charges are up to £10 per transaction. For those in the UK / EU SEPA area, payments are a fraction of the cost at pence rather than pounds. If there is a No-Deal Brexit, these charges will undoubtedly rise and have a real impact on our industry.


There is likely to be customs charges and VAT imposed on anything coming in or out of the UK in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. If the UK leaves with a No-Deal, there may be the need to pay different rates of customs duty on imports. According to the Government website the rates would be in place for up to 12 months if we leave without a deal. Find out more here.

Again, with the customs charges potentially set to rise and unknown additional security checks, it will impact the cost of sending and receiving prizes across borders. This will affect promotions under Click to Win / Instant Win and Gift with Purchase mechanics that have physical prizes that need posting out.


Specifically, here we are looking at the data which can be held and how it can be transferred across borders, but also at servers and where information can be stored. The Government advises the following:

“If your organisation shares personal data with organisations in the European Economic Area (EEA), you will need to take steps to ensure you continue to comply with data protection laws if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. For UK businesses that only share data within the UK, there will be no change.”

This will be particularly important for any companies or brands wanting to run a multi-territory promotion as storing customer data for a promotion will be a particularly sensitive subject. Companies will need to ensure they will comply with the new legislation so that the data is being handled in the most appropriate way.

Of course, we don’t have a crystal ball so who knows what the real impact will be when and if we do withdraw from the EU. However, in the words of Benjamin Franklin:

‘By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’


We know that planning a promotion in Europe whether it’s in one specific country, or a pan-European campaign, can be a logistical challenge at the best of times! If you need any help in the planning, execution or creation of a European promotion, please get in touch on 01296 717900 or drop me an email at