Navigating Brexit

Key Things To Know

Onwards and Up here to help you navigate the Brexit process. Keeping exports moving and simplifying some of the technical jargon on the way.  On December 31st, 2020 the UK officially left the European Union and has now signed a new trade deal called the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement.  

What Brexit Means For Businesses

Zero tariffs have been agreed so customs duties will not need to be paid. This is subject to evidence of Rules of Origin being provided.    

Customs Declarations
are required for all shipments between the UK and the EU.  Provide a Commercial or Pro-Forma invoice

Register for an EORI number to move goods between the UK and EU.  It is a unique ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU.

When shipping to
Northern Ireland many
EU rules will still apply
such as EU VAT and
the free movement of

Post-Brexit, Northern Ireland will remain a member of the EU Customs Union but will also remain part of the UK’s customs for goods only.

What You Need To Export Your Goods

  • Get an EORI 
  • Commercial invoice 
  • Incoterms® 2020 
  • Deferment account 
  • Additional documentation and checks for certain goods
  • Customs declarations 
  • Country of origin 
  • Customs value 
  • Customs procedure codes 
  • Commodity code 
  • Weight
Export tariff to navigate Brexit | Onwards and Up

Zero Tariffs on Shipment To The EU

Only products that originate from the UK or have had considerable processing in the UK qualify for zero tariffs under the EU-UK TCA.  Therefore customs duties are not required.  Companies will still be required to pay or account for import VAT import. 

To qualify for zero tariffs, you’ll need to submit a customs declaration with proof of origin document or statement.

You’ll need to check that your products comply with the agreed Rules of Origin

Get company EORI Number for Great Briatin and Northern Ireland

An Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is required to ship goods from the UK beginning 1 January 2021. If you haven’t already, you must register for an EORI number.

  • If you’re located in Great Britain, you should receive an EORI number that starts with GB.
  • If you’re moving goods to Northern Ireland or from Northern Ireland to any non-EU country (including GB), you need an additional EORI that starts with XI
  • You may want to register for the Trader Support Service that will assist you with all the changes.
  • Goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain are treated as domestic shipments, despite requiring customs information.

Proof of Origin

A proof of origin statement must be included on your Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoice to show that the goods originate from the UK or the EU (as long as the Rules of Origin are met).

For UK to EU shipments:
Proof of Origin can be produced by any exporter who has a GB
EORI number. Your GB EORI number must be included within the origin statement regardless of the value of the shipment.

For EU to UK shipments:
The origin statement can be produced by any exporter where the value of the consignment is 6,000 EUR (currently £5,700) or less. Anything above this amount the EU exporter must have a Registered Exporter (REX) number and include it in the statement.

Legally you must use the following statement on your Commercial or Pro-forma invoice:

The exporter of the products covered by this document [Exporter Reference No. (REX or GB EORI number)] declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of ……. preferential origin.

(Place and date)
(Name of the exporter)

Tariff, Harmonisation, HS Codes

A harmonised code is a customs tariff code and an important part of the customs declarations. This code identifies the type of goods that are being imported/exported and is the basis for calculations of duties – such as customs duty and import duty.  It also defines whether goods are subject to import or export controls.  HS Codes that are inaccurate can lead to delays, fees, and inaccurate charges.

Beware that while HS Codes are recognised internationally, more specific categories differ by country. You should use an HS Code search that targets the UK.

Use the following resources to look up your appropriate codes:
HS Code Lookup by GOV.UK
• TARIC, the integrated Tariff of the European Union

Changes to UK VAT up to £135

UK VAT on goods valued up to £135 will be collected at the point of sale, and not the point of import. This means that overseas businesses selling goods to the UK valued between £0-135, will be required to charge and collect any VAT due at the time of sale. 

Overseas businesses must be registered for UK VAT and pay VAT using a UK VAT return.

Changes to UK VAT more than £135

Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA), has been introduced for imports valued at more than £135.

PVA will allow registered UK
businesses to declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT Return, instead of having to pay it upfront and recover it later.

How To Pay Duties and VAT

  • Duty payment payable when import declaration submitted (full frontier or supplementary declaration) 
  • Duty deferment account (DDA) allows deferment of duty and VAT 
  • Payment must be made on the 15th of the month following submission 
  • Most companies can apply for a guarantee waiver

Postponed VAT Accounting

  • Importer confirms via customs declaration if they will pay import VAT at import or postpone the VAT 
  • VAT will be declared and recovered on the same VAT return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it later 
  • The goods are released without payment of import VAT 
  • Improves cash flow for business

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