Is your business prepared for the trading rules changing from 1 January 2021?

What is changing from 1 January 2021 for UK businesses who import from and/or export to the EU?

Unless you are sending goods by post or receiving goods by post, you should be aware of the below:

  • Customs declarations will need to be made when exporting goods from the UK to the EU, and if importing goods from the EU to the UK.
  • Your business may be required to obtain different export licences or certificates. This will be contingent on the types of goods you export.
  • Depending on the type of goods you import/export you may also need to check the marking, labelling and marketing standards for food, plant seeds and manufactured good and/or the rules for importing alcohol, tobacco and certain oils.
  • You will also need to make sure your business applies for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number beginning with ‘GB’.
  • From 1 January 2021 you can charge customers VAT at 0% on most goods you export to the EU.
  • Imported goods will be subject to the UK Global Tariff which will replace the Common External Tariff of the EU Customs Union. Click here to use the Government look-up tool to see how the new and old tariffs differ.

To help assist with the changes from 1 January 2021 it is worth considering getting a customs intermediary. Intermediaries can assist you find the information you require to complete formalities and submit the necessary declarations. If you choose not to get an intermediary, you will need to make the declarations yourself. Click here for guidance on how to get someone to deal with customs for you and click here for a list of customs agents and fast parcel operators.

Visit the Government website for further detailed guidance about the 1 January 2021 changes:

Prepare to export goods from Great Britain to the EU from 1 January 2021

Prepare to import goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021

For an easy to follow guide on how to import/export goods from 1 January 2021, please refer to the below:

How to import goods from the EU into GB from January 2021

How to export goods from GB into the EU from January 2021

SMEs that need funding to help with the changes to importing/exporting as a result of Brexit may find the below links useful:

Government announces £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

Apply for a grant to help small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting

Advice for EU businesses who export goods to/import goods from the UK

From 1 January 2021, if your business is established in the EU and you import goods from the UK or export goods into the UK you need to use the same processes that you use for non-EU countries who do not have a trading arrangement with the UK or EU.

This means that when moving goods:

  • An export declaration will be required to remove goods from either the EU or UK customs territory
  • An import declaration will be required to enter goods into either the EU or UK customs territory
  • The carrier must have specific information in order to move your goods between the territories.

What you will need to do will be dependent on the arrangements that you put in place with your UK trading partner and any customs representatives of carriers. For further guidance on changes your business needs to be made aware of visit the Government website:

Get your EU business ready from 1 January 2021

Actions to take to prepare for 1 January 2021

For personalised advice and actions we would urge businesses to click here and take advantage of the Government Tool which helps you prepare for the end of the transition period.

You should follow different guidance if you are: