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4.16 Dispatch and Transport BRC V8 - couriers/post/ex-works

Dispatch checks customer pick up 4.16

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lizcox

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 03:36 PM

Hi all, really hoping for some help on this topic. We are preparing for BRC and I am a little unsure on how to tackle 4.16 in regards to the following:

  • Product picked up by Royal Mail, Couriers etc.
  • Ex-works - where our Customer arranges their own transport to pick up an order

Thanks for your help in advance



pHruit

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 07:40 PM

Couriers are a bit of a headache for 4.16!

4.16.6 obviously presents a particular challenge, as I'm not aware of any couriers (assuming you're meaning FedEx, UPS, and their ilk?) with BRC, nor any that would agree to do business against a contract of your drafting, somewhat precluding you from meeting this clause. You might get lucky and find that your local sales agent would sign up to a "Code of Practice" or similar that you could write to encompass your requirements, but it obviously won't count for a great deal in the event of any sort of issue.

If your products are finished goods in sealed packaging then you can perhaps use a risk assessment to demonstrate that the requirements applicable for your products are minimal, but this would only apply in a relative sense and won't fully absolve you of the necessity to show compliance with this section of the standard. You'd potentially still be a bit stumped by 4.16.2 (and 4.16.4), as you've no way of knowing what else is on a vehicle and probably can't readily inspect a courier's van (or the many other vans and sorting facilities in their networks). Nonetheless there do seem to be a lot of food products shipped around by courier, so I'm genuinely somewhat puzzled. To be honest I suspect a large element of "don't ask, don't tell" is perhaps involved here ;)

 

What I would suggest is looking at the actual costs involved. Having been over this one a few years ago, I actually found that it was cheaper to ship a pallet loaded to 1/10th capacity than it was to send the same quantity of product with any of the couriers. If you're being pushed to look at them for cost saving on small orders then it's genuinely worth exploring.

Whether sending a pallet via a cheap network system is actually any safer for the product is another matter entirely, and I'm very much doubtful in many cases (assuming temperature control isn't a factor), but it can be easier to build a position on paper to defend it ;)

 

As for the ex-works shipment, if you're genuinely selling against a contractually defined Incoterm of EXW then the obligation to load the product rests with the seller. In practice this is rarely the case, as I suspect it is more likely that you are loading onto the lorry with your forklifts?

In such cases I'd suggest still doing your pre-loading inspection, but everything else is the buyer's responsibility. I'd simply record this in your goods-out log as "customer collected" or similar.

It can become challenging in the event that you find a problem, as the customer isn't there to physically see the issue for themselves unless they are using their own transport fleet, so you may find yourself having to send them photos, get written consent, write up a concession to cover it etc if a truck arrives that you have doubts about.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Dispatch checks, customer pick up, 4.16

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