The upcoming Brexit will inevitably have a significant impact on us and many of our clients. Although there is still no clarity on what the situation will be on day one after Brexit, we tried to summarize the key facts and give some recommendations on how best to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.
Unless the UK and the EU can agree on a deal before 12 April 2019, starting from 13 April 00:00 h (CET) the United Kingdom will become a “third country”, implying a series of legal repercussions also for trade operations.

Below you will find relevant information on the following topics:

  1. Export of goods from the EU to the UK (EU exports)
  2. Import of goods from the UK to the EU (EU imports)
  3. Documentation for trade operations between EU and UK

 

1. Export of goods from the EU to the UK (EU exports)

 

EORI Registration

Companies importing goods in the UK will need to be EORI registered in the UK. So as a first step you should check with your British client whether he is EORI registered in the UK at http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/eos/eori_validation.jsp?Lang=en. In case you need to apply for an EORI registration you can do so at https://www.gov.uk/eori.

Classification of goods

The UK has published its own trade tariff https://www.gov.uk/trade-tariff. In order to ensure a correct customs declaration, make sure to use the correct code to classify your goods and show it on your invoice next to the single items. You can verify your commodity codes at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/finding-commodity-codes-for-imports-or-exports.

Customs formalities

For all goods passing the UK border a customs declaration needs to be submitted. This can be done either by the company itself or be outsourced to a customs agent. Whereas customs clearance takes place once goods arrive at the customs terminal, any customs entry (except transit declarations) needs to be pre-lodged on the customs system. Only if pre-lodgement was carried out goods will be allowed to board a ferry or Eurotunnel.
The underlying legislation for customs procedures in the UK is the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act, adopted by the British government in September 2018, that will come into force on 13 April 2019 in case of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

Important: Since 7 February UK based companies can register for simplified import procedures if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. These procedures allow companies to provide only a small amount of information upon arrival of goods postponing customs formalities and customs payments. However, these procedures are only applicable for goods declared by the UK trader himself. They are not applicable to goods declared by freight forwarders or other agents acting on behalf of a trader! How to apply: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-for-simplified-import-procedures-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal

ENS Declaration – Security and Safety Measures

There are two types of ENS declarations:
Exit summary declaration: is done together with the export declaration by the exporter.
Entry summary declaration: this procedure is suspended until 01 October 2019. After this date entry summary declaration in the UK can be submitted either by the carrier, who is responsible for the ENS declaration, or by the importer in the import declaration. In any case entry summary declaration must be submitted:

  • 2 hours before the arrival in the port of destination in case of travelling by ferry
  • 1 hour prior to arrival at the Eurotunnel terminal in case of travelling via Eurotunnel

The ENS declaration is not required for goods being declared for transit.

Overview trade operations EU – UK

Before cargo departure please carry out a documentary check with logistics provider and customs agent.

  • EU export declaration (make sure MRN and EORI number are submitted to all involved parties)
  • Pre-lodgment of UK import declaration before arrival at UK border
  • Inform customs agent upon arrival of goods at UK terminal
  • Risk-based checks and payment of customs duties (or deferred payment)
  • Release of goods

Please be informed that there are additional requirements applying to controlled goods, i.e. goods that require a license to import or excise goods like alcohol or tobacco:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-trade-tariff-import-prohibitions-and-restrictions/uk-trade-tariff-import-prohibitions-and-restrictions

Click Brexit- EU exports to download pdf.

2. Import of goods from the EU to the UK (EU imports)

 

EORI Registration

Companies importing goods in the EU will need to be EORI registered in the EU.
In case you need to apply for an EORI registration you can do so via your national customs services:
In Italy: Area riservata Dogane sul sito https://assistenza.adm.gov.it
In Germany: BREXIT update- import of goods from the UK to the EU

Classification of goods

Goods imported in the EU need to be classified according to the EU Common Customs Tariff with the application of the relevant customs duties. For more details, please visit http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tradehelp/eu-product-classification-system.

Customs formalities

For all goods passing the EU border a customs declaration needs to be submitted. This can be done either by the company itself or be outsourced to a customs agent. Whereas customs clearance takes place once goods arrive at the customs terminal, any customs entry (except transit declarations) needs to be pre-lodged on the customs system. The underlying legislation is the Union Customs Code.

ENS Declaration – Security and Safety Measures

There are two types of ENS declarations:
Exit summary declaration: is done together with the export declaration by the exporter.
Entry summary declaration: The safety and security amendment to the European Community (EC) Customs Code requires that carriers – or their authorised representatives – lodge electronic entry summary declarations (ENS) at the first (air)port of entry into the customs territory of the EC at a prescribed time ahead of the arrival of the goods. The responsible for lodging ENS declaration is the carrier, however, the declaration can also be submitted by the importer or an agent.
The ENS declaration is not required for goods being declared for transit.

Overview trade operations UK – EU

Before cargo departure please carry out a documentary check with logistics provider and customs agent.

  • UK export declaration (make sure MRN and EORI number are submitted to all involved parties)
  • Pre-lodgment of EU import declaration before arrival at EU border
  • EU Entry summary declaration to the office of first entry
  • Inform customs agent upon arrival of goods at EU terminal
  • Risk-based checks and payment of customs duties (or deferred payment)
  • Release of goods

Please be informed that prohibitions and restrictions may apply to certain categories of goods and that import and export licenses issued by the UK will be no longer valid in the EU.

Click Brexit – EU imports to download pdf.

 

3. Documentation for trade operations between EU and UK

 

Transport documents are most likely staying the same as the are currently. However other accompanying documents must be prepared according to customs requirements:

  • Name, address and EORI number of the recipient and sender of the shipment.
  • Place of origin (UN location code)
  • Place of destination (UN location code)
  • Type of customs document
  • Document number: MRN code. Please be advised that containers/trailers are never admitted to terminal without the MRN code. Delays are inevitable if this number is missing.
  • Validity date of the document.  Place of validity (valid to) for specific documents.

If one transport unit contains different types of cargo, the following information is required for every type:

  • Amount of packages
  • UN code of packaging types
  • HS code (in case of more than one HS Code, the following information must be provided for each code separately)
  • Description of the goods
  • Gross weight (kg)
  • Net weight (kg)
  • In case of ADR cargo: UN number
  • For cargo going into the UK: volume (m³)

In addition, make sure to provide the following information to all involved parties (forwarder, customs agent, importer)

  • Name, address and EORI number of the sender
  • Name, address and EORI number of the recipient
  • Export declaration number (MRN Code)

Click to download pdf.

Useful links
https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/preparedness-notices_en
https://www.channelports.co.uk/
https://www.legislation.gov.uk
https://www.ec.europe.eu/taxation_customs/uk_withdrwal_en
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exporting-and-importing-goods-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-with-no-deal
http://ec.europa.eu/ecip/security_amendment/procedures/index_en.htm