On January 31, 2020, the UK left the EU and entered a transition period. As a result, the existing arrangements will apply until December 31, 2020. The UK is expected to formally leave the EU Single Market and Customs Union on January 1, 2021. From that date, the UK-EU customs border will apply, which will have an impact for companies operating abroad. This page aims to explain the steps you can take now to prepare your business for the new customs borders and will be updated regularly.
So how should you prepare for Brexit?
How to protect your sales?
To mitigate the impact of these changes, consider splitting your inventory and sending it to a UK and EU logistics center. This is to minimize the risk that something would be missing on either side. This may require you to ship your products through the new UK-EU customs border. For shipping products out of customs, please review the following requirements:
What are the requirements for crossing the customs border? What should be provided to be able to sell further?
To transport goods across the border and store them locally, you will need a VAT number for the country where you store these products. To be VAT compliant in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic, you may check our EU VAT registration services
EORI number (economic operator registration and identification number)
You will need to obtain both a UK and EU EORI number (registration number and trader identifier) to bulk transfer products to or from UK and any EU countries from January 1, 2021. You can find more information on obtaining a UK EORI here. One EU EORI number will be sufficient for all EU countries. More information on the EU EORI can be found here. Here you will find the EORI registration page in Germany, here in France, here in Italy , in Spain here. If you are an MFN selling partner and ship directly to customers across the border, you may only need one EORI number (UK for UK selling partners and EU for EU selling partners). For more information, please contact a logistics agent or tax advisor.
Country of Origin Information:
If there is a trade agreement between the EU and the UK, this will decide whether your goods may qualify for preferential treatment, such as Reduced or Zero Tariffs. You can find more information here for Great Britain and here for EU countries.
Harmonized System (HS) codes:
These codes determine the amount of duty and import VAT for your products. You can find more information here for Great Britain and here for EU countries.
Intellectual Property Rights
If you are not the owner of the intellectual property rights (IPR) on your goods, you will also need the consent of the IPR holder to sell UK origin products in the EU / EEA.
Delivery of customs clearance documents:
You will have to decide how you want to submit customs declarations and whether to hire a person or company to do customs for you. More information from the UK Government can be found here or on the website of the European Commission. You should speak to your carrier to determine how they can support you in transporting goods across the UK-EU border from January 1, 2021.
Compliance with new product or labeling regulations:
Check the UK Government guidelines to confirm that the new requirements will apply to your products from January 1, 2021. See resources on product compliance and labeling, and frequently asked questions.