The UK left the European Union at the start of 2020, and the Brexit transition period came to an end on the 1st January 2021. A new trade agreement has been signed between the UK and the EU, and as a result, there are changes to the way you transport goods between the EU, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The resulting changes comprise of many Customs formalities on all goods being imported or exported. In simple terms, you need to have Customs Declaration to cover the movement of your goods in/out of the UK. If your trade is between Great Britain and Northern Ireland you will need a Movement Declaration.
Important things to consider:
- Commodity Codes
Make sure you know what commodity code applies to your goods. Find out here.
- EORI Number
You must have registered for an EORI number. This is issued to all importers and exporters by HMRC and is a requirement for all Customs Entry Declarations and Customs Clearance processes.
- Direct Representation Form
If you are using a freight service like Walkers Transport, you must complete a Direct Representation Form so that a Customs Agent can act on your behalf.
- Export License
Some, but not all, commodities require an Export License. You can obtain a license here should your goods need one.
- Commercial Invoice
A Commercial Invoice is a legal document issued by the seller (exporter) to the buyer (importer). It is an important piece of Customs documentation that is required to move goods across borders. A commercial invoice must include:
– commodity code
– customs procedure code
– goods description
– goods value
– weight per commodity
– country of origin
– license if applicable
For a successful export, your goods must be shipped on the correct pallet type (ISPM15 approved) and must include all supporting Customs documentation: a Commercial Invoice is crucial. Failure to do so will result in delays to your shipment. For an Export Agent to act on your behalf, you must complete a Direct Representative form. Your goods cannot be shipped if you do not approve someone to act on your behalf.
For a successful import you must be able to pay the Duty and Vat on the goods when they enter the country. However, these taxes can be deferred using a Duty Deferment Account. Once you have registered a Duty Deferment Account, you will be given a DAN number. Should you wish for someone to act on your behalf when handling the import, such as ourselves, you must ensure that you have informed HMRC that you have given authority for someone else to use your DAN number, using a Customs Clearance Agent form.
If you would like more information on Importing / Exporting goods between the UK and Europe, please contact a member of our Customer Service team.