Import and export after Brexit
On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament approved the agreement of Brexit that had been earlier ratified by the parliament of the UK. It is decided that both will remain in the single market and customs unit till 31st December 2020 until both sides try to hammer out an agreement for trade. At the end of this transition period, current EU trade rules will no longer apply to Great Britain. The UK government has announced a new set of rules for trading and mostly for import and export of goods that are to be executed from 1 January 2021. Importers and exporters are facing a real challenge as they have the concern of losing business with the EU. The charges that have to be spent are for sure going to increase but effective processing of goods and help of a transport partner will keep you going smoothly despite Brexit.
The three-phase strategy
The UK government has introduced a new set of rules and custom formalities for imports and exports with the EU and also they have announced that the new rules will gradually be introduced by a three-phase strategy that extends for the first six months of next year. The importers/ exporter is anxious about the effect on the supply chain this may have on their EU business but do not worry as precise preparation will take you through this transition smoothly.
From January 1st, 2021
The customs can get immensely complicated after the introduction of new rules; therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the implications this may have in the transportation of the goods. All merchandises that are travelling from the UK to the EU must follow a customs clearance process. The VAT authorities will need a customs declaration to check whether the Vat for Import and Export has been accounted for and a declaration made will be used to calculate the import duties. The duties/taxes depend on the value, type, and country of origin of the goods. To complete the customs clearance, you will need the following:
- A commercial invoice with relevant codes of commodity
- A certificate to prove the origin of the goods
When an import or export declaration is submitted for customs clearance, the authorities will react in one of the three ways
- No checks: the declaration will be accepted at face value
- Document check: The authorities will scrutinize your documents and make sure that the information provided is accurate
- Physical inspection: Goods are physically inspected to ensure they have been declared as per the declaration form
Customs clearance time may vary depending on the declaration made, paperwork submitted and purpose of import/export.
From 1 April 2021
All products of animal origin (POAO), regulated plant, and plant products have to be pre-notified, and relevant health certificates have to be presented.
From 1 July 2021
The import declaration must be provided at the entry port for all goods including standard goods. From the first of July 2021, the imports will be held at the customs point until the import declaration is completed and all relevant Vat and duties are paid.
Export from the UK
The customs clearance process in the case of import is simple. It takes at one of the three custom clearance processes which are border clearance, inland customs point, and frontier declaration.
- At the border: At export customs point you must produce the documents and goods to the authorities.
- Inland customs point: The process is the same as it takes place at the border. It is secured and registered such as exporter or importer’s premises, transport company’s warehouse, or custom warehouse.
- Frontier declaration: The customs clearance can be done at inland or border customs points, but the import declaration is submitted when the truck leaves the port. The clearance will be completed as you reach the import point. In case any checks will take place, the driver will be informed via text message. This saves travelling via the import inland declaration point and minimizes the cost spent on T-form.
- Exports is more straightforward compared to that of imports.
Imports from the UK
- At the border: The same process as in export will take place. Any Vat and duties must be paid at this point for the truck to proceed.
- The other point is the inland customs point with the same set of processes. To prevent unloading of goods before reaching the inland customs point, customs introduced the T-form that is the transit document. This is a guarantee that you give that the goods won’t be unloaded or tampered with within two customs points. Any risk is taken, the customer will be liable and will have to pay the extra charges.
- New tariffs are applicable to imports as from January 1st unless there is no free trade deal. Currently, the imports from the EU are duty-free but with the set in of new tariffs, about 40% of EU imports will be duty payable while the remaining 60% will be duty-free.
The Brexit-ready checklist
Here is a small checklist containing what your business might need to minimize the disruption of shipments and ensure a smooth process of customs.
- EORI number: EORI number is a European Union registration and identification number given for businesses who want to import and export goods within the EU. Without this, you cannot import or export within the EU. The government has auto-enrolled most of the businesses while some must get theirs from HMRC.
- Commodity codes: The amount of duty paid for an import is also determined by the commodity codes of your product. It is important to ensure that the correct HS code is used to describe the products.
- Country of origin: The country of origin certificate is proof of the origin of goods and this determines the duties that needs to be paid at the customs.
- Import license: In order to import goods to the EU, an import license is crucial.
- Customs declaration: The commercial invoice is one of the main documents that bears all the information regarding the goods and the purpose of the import/export, and is checked by the customs department to determine the customs duties.
How VSL Logistics is prepared for BREXIT
VSL is working on Brexit and will try to provide the best service for your business. We are working on ways to provide our customers with a Brexit hassle-free and smooth transit of goods.
Talk to us now!
When it comes to logistics services, VSL logistics is one of the most trusted logistics service providers in the UK. At VSL, there is a range of services available that suits your requirement – Air, Road, Sea, Rail. Our experts can help you to make the right decision for the shipping based on your business requirements & needs. So, you can immediately contact us and discuss with us and we shall choose the right service for you.
So, without any further delays, visit us to make a hassle-free transit of goods post Brexit.