What is the latest on Brexit?
As of the 31st January 2020 The UK is no longer a member of the EU, and we have entered an implementation period that lasts until 31st December 2020. During this time there will be NO CHANGES to the terms of trading with the EU or the rest of the world, unless the rules change for the whole of the EU. This means that the EU raules for customs, VAt and excise will continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade for this limited time. There will be no new customs proceedures at present.

What will happen after 31 January 2020?
From 1st February 2020 the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, and the UK will enter an implementation period that lasts until 31st December 2020. During this time there will not be any changes to the terms of trading with the EU or the rest of the world, unless the rules change for the whole of the EU. This means the EU rules for customs, VAT and excise will continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade for this limited time. There will be no new customs proceedures at present.

What will happen after 31 December 2020?.

From 1 January 2021, the way the UK trades with the EU will change, and the UK will need to prepare for life outside the EU, including new customs arrangements. For example, for trade between Great Britain (GB) and the EU, you will need to make customs declarations to import and export goods once the UK is outside of the EU's customs territory.

More information and guidence during the implamentation period and as negotiations progress. More HMRC information.

Exporting to and importing from the EU
In the recent Technical Notes issued by the government on 23 August 2018, businesses are advised to:
1. Put steps in place to renegotiate commercial terms to reflect any changes in customs excise procedures and any new tariffs that may apply to UK-EU terms.
We have already started to amend contracts to reflect this clause, and we recommend that our customers do the same with their contracts.
2. Businesses should consider acquiring customs software and/or engage a customs broker.
We already have measures in place to accommodate the customs clearance process, and our customers can also rest assured that we are very well placed to handle Eurozone imports and exports.
3. Businesses must use product classification codes and check whether any of their goods need an export licence.
We already have the correct codes essential to ensure our customers pay the right amount of duty, and we recommend that you start the process early by using the UK Government Commodity Code website for classification of goods (see 'Sources' section for a link to the government website). Most of our products are classified under the HS code 84818030.

You may need an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) if not using a third part freight agent. It is easy to apply with HMRC get an EORI number here. Typically it will be your VAT registration number with 000 at the end. Our VAT number is 712906644, our EORI Number is GB712906644000. 

You will also need an EORI number that starts with XI if you move goods into or out from Northern Ireland. Our EORI number for this is XI712906644000.

To apply you may need your:

    VAT number and effective date of registration - these are on your VAT registration certificate
    National Insurance number - if you’re an individual or a sole trader
    Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) 10 digit number as found on tax returns - find your UTR number
    business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code - these are in the Companies House register
    Government Gateway user ID and password

You can call HMRC EORI team, from experience very helpful, 0300 322 7067 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Brexit Jargon Explained.

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU with no formal agreement on the terms of the UK's withdrawal or new trade relations. At 12pm GMT on 31 January 2020, the UK would default to WTO rules.

Soft Brexit
Leaving the EU but staying as closely aligned to the EU as possible. It could keep the UK in the single market or the customs union or both. It could involve British compromises on free movement of people, allowing EU citizens rights to settle in the UK with access to public services and benefits.

Hard Brexit
Leaving the EU and leaving both the single market and customs union. It could mean ending the right of freedom of movement between EU countries, the UK needing to pay money to be a member of the EU, and EU law overriding UK law.

Norway Model
An arrangement in which the UK would have to allow freedom of movement of people, make a contribution to the EU budget - smaller than it currently makes - and abide by the rulings of the European Court of Justice, in exchange for remaining in the single market.

Canada Model
Refers to a free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada which removes lots of barriers to trade between the two, but not as many as the Norway model - and which involves signing up to more EU rules and contributing to the EU budget.

Customs Partnership
This proposal, also known as the hybrid model, would enable trade in goods between the UK and Europe without the need for customs checks. Some say it would help solve the Irish border question too, as the UK would collect the EU's tariffs on goods coming from other countries on the EU's behalf. If those goods stayed in the UK and UK tariffs were lower, companies could then claim back the difference.

In the end, either way; business will continue as usual as we implement the best solutions available. 

25th September 2020 UPDATE.

There’s now less than four months to go until the Brexit transition period ends and a new era for UK/EU trade begins. Negotiations over a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are still ongoing, but whatever the outcome it is likely that there will be changes on the way we ship.

Action has already been taken and we are ready for 2021, whatever the final outcome we will continue to supply into the EU with minimal delay and maximum reliability. 

How to prepare if the UK and EU don’t agree an FTA.

We will will trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms and therefor we have made the essential steps to ensure our business is able to continue shipping successfully in 2021. In either scenario of an FTA or WTO, the UK will leave the EU Customs Union which means that shipments will require clearance.

• We will create and submit air waybills and customs paperwork to electronically.

The shipping application will be updated to reflect changes for shipping to and from the UK as of Jan 4, 2021  using new features available to us from our freight agents that support the creation and digital submission of customs documents ahead of any courier collection. This ensures your shipment is fit for travel and reduces risk of delay.

• We already have our EORI number, will will describe your goods accurately and know the correct HS codes for your goods

• We understand how to value each item in any  shipment correctly and the country of origin details needed

• We will apply the right Incoterms agreed with our customers

• We understand how to provide a reason for export, and identify any export licences or supporting documentation that may be required

• We are prepared to include both your address and contact details, and to inform our customers of any import taxes and duties that may be required.

The information above is vital to complete a commercial invoice for deliveries into the EU as from January 2021.

At this point we do not know what changes an FTA may bring. However it is likely that some, if not all, of the above will be necessary when shipping between the UK and EU.

What do you need to trade with the EU after Brexit?

Ensure you have an EORI number     


Get into the habbit of providing/requesting commercial invoices/packing lists for EU cargo


Think about getting a deferment account