Importing & Exporting After Brexit

importing and exporting after brexit

New customs and tax rules for trading with the EU started on 1 January 2021. To continue trading with countries in the EU, there are actions you must take to make sure they are compliant and minimise costs and delays.


You need an EORI number that starts with “GB” to import goods into England, Wales or Scotland. You will need a new one if you have an EORI that does not start with “GB”. If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland you may need one that starts with “XI”.

Follow this link to get an EORI number:

These are processes that can make clearing customs quicker and easier to manage if you have to make import declarations regularly.

Commodity Codes

You will need a commodity code to make your customs declaration when you bring goods in or send goods out of the UK. This includes goods sent to you from abroad.

If you classify your goods correctly, you will know what rate of duty and import VAT you should pay, and if:

  • the duty is suspended
  • you need a license to move your goods
  • your goods are covered by:
  • Agricultural Policy
  • anti-dumping duties
  • tariff quotas

Here is the link to find the correct commodity code:

Duty Deferment Account

If you import goods regularly, you can apply for a duty deferment account to delay paying most customs charges, for example:

  • Customs Duty
  • excise duty
  • import VAT

A duty deferment account lets you make one payment a month through Direct Debit instead of paying for individual consignments. If you have 2 separate duty deferment accounts, you will need to have 2 separate Direct Debit Instructions and receive 2 statements.

You can apply for a duty deferment account if you are an importer or someone who represents importers.

Here is a brief checklist:

1          Customs Declaration

For all goods entering or leaving the UK, you will need to prepare documents for customs declaration. If you are importing goods into the UK, you need to check if these are on “Controlled Goods” or not.

Making a normal declaration

Whether you need to declare goods to UK customs depends on where in the UK they start or end their journey.

Check if you need to declare goods you move:

  • between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • to or from the EU
  • to or from any other countries

2          Expert advice

When you import or export goods, you will require the support of a “freight forwarding” agent or “Clearing Agent”. Most importers and exporters use these experts to deal with complex declarations.  Here is the list of some agents.

  • customs agents and brokers
  • freight forwarders
  • shipping companies
  • fast parcel operators (for example, couriers or next-day parcels services)
  • agents who specialise in a certain industry, for example, fresh foods or pharmaceuticals

3          Goods Classification & Country of Origin

This is one of the most important information for every importer and exporters need to record accurately for the goods they import or export.  Any mistake in the declaration will lead to wrong duty and vat.        

4          Safety & Security Requirement

Generally, you need to follow safety and security requirements for your goods.  If you import the goods from EU from 01 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, you do not need to submit an “entry summary declaration”. However, from 01 July 2021, you will need to follow this guideline.

See the link below:

For exporters selling/moving goods outside the UK, you will need to prepare and submit an “exit summary declaration”

Follow this link to find out more.

5          Postponed VAT accounting – PVA

Generally, VAT on imports can only be claimed once you received “C79 import VAT certificate”.  This leads sometimes to delay in claiming VAT.  Generally, businesses have a set vat quarters period in which they submit their claims in a certain time frame.  If C79 is not received on time, then they suffer from a cashflow shortage. PVA allows to speed up the claim process.

Please follow this link to find out how to register for PVA.

For more assistance on this matter contact Sterling Finance and we will be able to help. Our contact details are:

Sterling Finance UK Limited

Website           : 

Email               : 

Tel                   :           0161 339 4989

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *