Hornby temporarily stops non-UK toy orders due to Brexit

Published on: 17th December 2020

Hornby said it would not accept any non-UK orders until 4th January 2021, after the transition period ends and EU-UK trade switches to a new relationship.


Due to the uncertainty over Brexit and disruption at UK ports, Hornby has decided to temporarily pause all orders to customers based outside of the UK.

The company said it would not accept any non-UK orders until 4th January 2021, after the transition period ends and EU-UK trade switches to a new relationship under rules that have not yet been agreed.

Hornby head office tweeted the decision to pause orders on Tuesday, writing: “We hope you can understand the difficult position we are in and remain patient with us until we can find a solution.”

Hornby product exported from the UK to the EU could face tariffs of up to 4.7% of its cost if a no deal Brexit occurs. Consequently, if tariffs are imposed while goods from the UK are delayed in transit, an EU customer could be liable to pay the duty themselves before receiving the goods, a complication Hornby wants to avoid at all costs.

Lyndon Davies, Hornby’s chief executive, said: “I’ve seen the Gulf war, Falklands war, three-day week, crashes on the stock market – after all these things, there are issues. All we’re asking is tell us what is going on. We’re forced into a position of saying, what is the point of going through the pain of all these orders? What the world of business has to do is sort out the mess and the carnage of what’s left.”

Importers to the UK have been struggling with increased demand for goods before the 1st January Brexit deadline, adding to global problems in the shipping industry that have already caused significant delays for imports from east Asia.

Lyndon added that Hornby had taken delivery of one shipment of Batman vs Joker Scalextric sets, which had been “going up and down the strait of Dover for three weeks”, as a result of port delays.

However, in light of the situation, the company has stockpiled enough inventory to prevent running out of key items for as long as a year.

Lyndon is also confident that the company will be able to cope in the long term, partly as a result of its encouraging sales increase during lockdown. Hornby experienced a 33% jump in sales in the six months to September.


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