Brexit – end of transition period

The UK has left the EU

From 1st January  2021, post-Brexit transition has ended and trade with the European Union has become more complex.  It is necessary to comply with customs controls for all trade to and from the EU.  The express industry can help customers meet these requirements but there are some basic measures that importers and exporters not familiar with international trade will need to understand, including some rather different rules for trade to and from Northern Ireland.

Importing from the EU

Your EU supplier will have to treat their supply to you as an export which means that they will have to complete export formalities and provide documentation (hard copy or electronically) normally as a minimum a copy invoice to establish value and in some cases commodity related compliance evidence.

All UK importers need an EORI number, a unique identifier issued by the Government (if you do not already have one, it starts with GB. It takes five to ten minutes to apply on GOV.UK.)  If goods are being moved to/from Northern Ireland it is also necessary to have an XI EORI number

There are then a number of options that are available for submitting declarations, details of which are available on the GOV.UK web site (links below).  However, it will be easier and quicker to use the services and expertise of an AICES member to take care of this and ensure that all obligations are met.   You may want to create your own duty deferment account for the payment of import duty, and provided you are registered for VAT, you will be able to use the newly introduced postponed accounting procedure for taking care of your VAT liability (on your VAT return).

Exporting To the EU

Export procedures as previously applied for exports to the rest of the world will apply to all movements to the EU.  These procedures would normally be handled by your AICES Member.  You as the exporter will have to provide details of the consignment to be shipped and documentation (hard copy or electronic), normally as a minimum a copy of the sales invoice to indicate value, ideally including details of origin and commodity code.  It is also the exporter’s responsibility to ensure that any export controls, licensing requirements are met.

Your AICES member will handle the rest for you. Please see for further advice for UK traders: Preparing for the end of transition how express companies can help UK importers and exporters

For AICES members please also see AICES guidance on preparing for the end of transition for you and your customers: AICES Guidance: Brexit End of Transition Readiness

Useful links

To help navigate through the maze of detailed information the following links may be of assistance:

AICES Members who can help

HMG Border Operating Manual

HMRC Guidance importing goods from the EU

HMRC Guidance Exporting goods to the EU

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