Frequently Asked Questions

We know companies have plenty of questions regarding Brexit, so we have put together some of the most frequently asked ones below. These are based on our understanding from official sources guidance.


Please note this sections is constantly updated, so make sure to check it weekly.  If the answer of your question is not below, please click here to read more about our Bespoke hourly service

Q1. Do all UK companies need to apply for a UK EORI number?

An EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) is required if your company is exporting or importing already or planning to do so soon. Once the UK leaves the EU, this will be required to trade with the European Union. Last year HMRC announced that all UK VAT registered businesses have been automatically issued with a UK EORI number. If you are unsure whether you received one or not, check with HMRC or apply for a EORI number here.

If you had an EU EORI number, please note you will need to register for one in the UK and this must start with GB.

#EORI #export #import #EUExit

Q2. I am a UK business - Do I need an EU EORI number to trade with the EU?

British businesses will only need to apply for an EU EORI number if:

  • Selling on a Delivered Duty Paid basis (Incoterms 2020) to EU customers. You will need to apply in the first EU country you are exporting to. 

  • you have a physical EU presence (e.g. sales office, subsidiary, warehousing, manufacturing facility or other) from which you are serving EU customers in any way.​

If you are trading with EU Suppliers selling to you on DDP basis, they will be required to have a GB EORI number as well as to register for VAT in the UK.


Q3. I am currently selling Ex-Works to my EU customers. Will I need to change this to continue trading at the end of the transition period?

No, unless your EU customer(s) wish to re-negotiate the way you currently trade with them. However, we are strongly recommending companies to move, if possible, to FCA, as with ExW it is down to your customer to do the export and import customs clearance both in the UK and in the EU, and thus your EU customer will need to make sure they have a GB EORI. If you are zero-rating VAT for this 'export', you will need to make sure that you have proof of export to demonstrate the goods were exported. However, since under ExW is the buyer who is responsible for arranging transport and the export customs declaration, you are not legally entitled to these.

There are other issues with using ExW regarding the completion of the customs declaration if for instance your customer uses your GB EORI number, any errors/omittances or other on those will make you directly responsible and liable to HMRC.

#ExW #Incoterms #EORI #EUExit #ProofofExport #Export #VAT

Q4. Will I have to pay duties or VAT on my EU imports at the end of the transition period?

If by the end of the transition period the UK and EU have not agreed on the particulars regarding the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will be subject to trade under the WTO terms, so goods coming from the EU into the UK will be subject to VAT. This will be payable at the border for every shipment unless you set up a deferment account which will allow you to make bulk payments for several consignments and pay once a month via direct debit. If you want to know more on how to set up a duty deferment account for your imports, click here. For the first six months of 2021, UK importers will be able to tap into simplified customs procedures and delay payment of duties and VAT as outline on the new UK Border Control Operating Model.

#Duties #VAT #Import #EUExit 

Q5. What additional documentation will I need for exporting and importing to/from the EU?

With or without a deal with the EU and as per recent newly launched UK Border Control Operating Model, UK businesses will need to submit extra documentation when trading with EU customers and/or suppliers, such as Customs Declarations, export health certifications, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Controls, Export Licences, and others. Make sure you check the UK Global Tariff which will be operational from the 1st January to ensure you understand all the paperwork involved - both for exports and imports.

Also, from 1st January goods going via Northern Ireland will be required to follow the NI Protocol rules which provides information on moving goods from NI to GB, GB to NI, NI to EU, EU-NI, and NI-RoW. Also, companies trading via NI, will be required to registered for an additional EORI number starting with XI, and can also access free support via the Trade Support Service.

#Documentation #Customsdeclarations #Tariffs #UKGlobaltariff #EUExit #NIProtocol #NewUKBorderControl #XIEORI #NorthernIreland

Q5.1.  We only being trading with the EU and never had to do a Customs Declarations.   Can you tell me why we need one now?


As the UK has been part of the EU Single Market, there was a 'free' movement of goods moving between the EU2members, and those movements therefore were labelled as 'Dispatches' and ‘Arrivals'. However, as we officially leave the single market, UK exports to the EU or imports from the EU to the UK will be considered with a 3rd country, and thus, this will be treated as exporters and imports subject to customs controls.


If you want to continue trading with the EU, then you must complete export and import declarations from the 1st January 2021, although imports from the EU will have a phased approach during the first 6-months of 2021 allowing UK importers to bring most goods and completing declarations and delaying payment of import duties/VAT during this period.


You can complete the customs declarations yourself via the National Export System or through specialised software connecting your business to CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight), alternatively you can also appoint a third party to do it on your behalf (e.g. freight forwarder, local Chamber of Commerce). Greater Manchester Chamber is a certified Customs Agent and ready to complete these on your behalf. If interested in our services, please email for more information.

#CustomsDeclarations #EUExit #Exporters #Importers #Newrules 

Q5.2.  Is there any support from the government to help us with Customs Declarations?

As we leave the EU Single Markets, it is expected the number of customs declarations will go from about 50 million to 250-300 million. The UK Government has therefore been providing funding to businesses and intermediaries to develop the country's capacity to deal with such increase. Funding is available for:

  • Recruitment costs for staff who will be directly involved in completing customs declarations for your business

  • Partial cover of salary costs (up to 3 months)

  • IT equipment

  • Training


For more information, please click here.

#Grantfunding #CustomsDeclarations #Training #IT #Staff #NewBrexitrules #Export #Import

Q5.3. I am interested in training my staff to complete customs declarations.  Who offers training?


There is plenty of business intermediary organisations offering training related to Brexit and customs declarations. GM Chamber is one of them offering basic box by box training on customs declarations, however you may also want to check more advanced courses and diplomas offered by the likes of the Institute of Export and International Trade.

The above grant can be used to carried out any training that will help your staff either to understand or complete customs declarations more efficiently.  Please check the upcoming courses here -  Some of our courses include:  incoterms, rules of origin for preferential and non-preferential access, import procedures, export documentation and procedures, inward/outward processing, and more.

We can also tailor the content to develop bespoke course for your staff.  For more information on this, email us at 

#CustomsDeclarations #Training #Export #Import #Rulesoforigin #InwardProcessing #OutwardProcessing #exportdocumentation

Q6. How can I find out the rate of UK import duties that will be applicable products we are buying from the EU or other markets at the end of the transition period?


If by the end of the transition period (31st Dec 2020), the UK and EU have not finalised the particulars around the Withdrawal agreement, the UK will be treated as a third country by the EU – therefore Third Country Duties will be applied to UK goods. The New UK Global Tariff has been launched offering an indication of the tariffs that may apply to your product(s) from the 1st Jan 2021 but please note, these may change if there a deal is finalised before the end of this year, and if the UK signs any further trade deals with other nations. At the moment, the New UK Global tariff only offers the import duty applicable and does not provide further information regarding additional requirements.

#Import #Tariffs #NewUKGlobalTariff #UKMFN


Q7. Can I still use DDP to sell to the EU after Brexit?


You will still be able to sell DDP to the EU, however, you will need to be more diligent when it comes to import customs in EU territory. You will be responsible for the Import Declaration in the country of destination, and you will need an EU EORI number. You could register for one yourself or ask your EU customer to provide their EU EORI number and the essential information you need to complete their import declaration. You may also need to consider VAT implications and whether you will need to register in the EU country where you are exporting to or to appoint a local agent to manage this on your behalf.

#Incoterms #DDP #EUExit #Exporters #EUEORI #EORI #VAT

Q7.1 We want to make it easy for our EU customers paying duties but no Import VAT, can we use DAP or DDP for this?

You can use DDP with a variation clearly indicating the fact you are not responsible for paying the VAT.  You need to make sure both your customer and customs intermediary are fully aware of this.   We, however, strongly recommend you avoid doing this.   If you need help how to continue selling on DDP and managing effectively Import VAT payments, let us know and we can introduce you to our strategic partner who specialises on this. Just email us at asking for an introduction.

#Incoterms #DDP #EUExit #Exporters #VAT #Import

Q8. Do I need to apply for AEO status to continue trading with the EU?

Being AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) certified is not a requirement to trade with the EU after the end of the transition period. 

However, having AEO status could make it quicker for your goods to be cleared at customs as your company will be regarded as trustworthy, and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. For more information about this, click here

#AEO #EUExit #Exporters #Importers

Q9. How do I classify my goods and find out my commodity code? 

You can find out your goods commodity code by searching a description of your goods on the UK online Tariff database - it is best to start off with a broader description to initially classify your goods.

If you are struggling to find your code and need a legally binding classification of your goods, you can get a Binding Tariff Information Ruling from HMRC, which would be valid for up to three years. 

Please always bear in mind the trader bears the responsibility and is liable for any errors in classification.

Your Commodity code is KEY as it will determine which import duties, VAT and other taxes and requirements you need to bear in  mind when exporting or importing.

#Commoditycodes #HMRC #Productclassification #Export #Import #HSCodes


Q10.  In the event of a deal or not deal, can you please tell us what is changing when exporting to EU or importing from EU from 1st Jan 2021?

The UK Gov has published guidance for exporters and importers to follow as seen below:




UK goods and services schedules at the WTO

Visit our WTO Trading rules session to access useful links.

#WTORules #Export #Import #EU #NonEU

Q11. Our EU customers are asking us to provide them information about the 'origin' of our products and tell them about what UK FTAs are in place from Jan 2021? 

The UK has signed several Trade Agreements with Non-EU countries.  Some of these agreements are called 'Continuity Agreements' which pretty much mirror Trade Agreements which the EU has with those countries and thus in the event of the UK and EU signing a deal before the end of this year, we will not see changes in the way we trade with those markets. However, if there is no deal, there will be changes affecting rules of origin, cumulation and preferential access, amongst other things. Please note the British Chambers of Commerce network are still asking/lobbying the UK Gov to request more detail guidance regarding rules of origin.

It is very important you consider carrying out a 'supply chain' audit to understand where your products/components/raw materials come from. This way you will be able to understand if your business could benefit or not from the new Trade Agreements which have been signed and will be in operation from 1st Jan.  

#FTAs #Tariffs #Import #Export #RulesofOrigin #cumulation


Q12.  We have an 'Approved Exporter Status' which enable us to do invoice declarations, will this change from 1st January?

It will depend whether trade agreements which the UK has signed with other countries and will be effective from 1st Jan 2021 have made such provisions. It is our understanding that the UK-South Korea Agreement does, but you will need to check if this is the case for others.   


If Invoice declarations are not included in FTAs, then you may find you may need either Certificates of Origin - either for preferential or non-preferential purposes.  

#InvoiceDeclarations #FTAs #CertificatesofOrigin #RulesofOrigin #Preferential #NonPreferential

Q13.  We are a UK company using customs warehousing and importing goods from some parts of the world. Can you please explain what duties will be due when we a) release goods into free circulation in the UK, b) sell this to EU or other parts of the world?

In this scenario, it is our understanding that:

a) UK MFN duty (if applicable to your specific commodity code) will be due when you release the goods in the domestic market (UK).

b) If you are using inward processing or re-exporting from a customs warehouse, then no UK MFN duty will be payable, however, you will need to check if there is an importing duty applicable to your product to the countries where you are exporting to.

c) if you are not using either inward processing or re-exporting, then you will need to check if you are due to pay for UK MFN and you or your buyer (depending on the incoterm use), if you are also liable for paying import duty in the country, or countries, you are exporting to.

#UKMFN #importduties #customswarehousing #specialcustomsprocedure #freecirculation #reexporting

Q14. We are an UK company who invoices its sister company in EU and ship directly from the UK to their EU.  What invoice does the shipment need to have to be able to move the goods?

This is a question we are getting a lot, and HMRC has suggested businesses should contact the Department for International Trade phoning them at 0207 215 4594 or via email at: or alternative check HMRC Community Forum - Transition Period

Q15.  What is the guidance regarding Rules of Origin for preferential access under the new EU-UK Trade deal?

Under the new trade deal, there will be no tariffs or quotas for goods that qualify -  meaning they meet rules of origin requirements as specify in the TCA (annexes). The new deal makes provisions for full bilateral cumulation, meaning UK and EU content can be included to claim UK or EU origin.  Businesses will need to carry out supply chain checks to ensure they meet the percentage thresholds for content. For more detailed guidance on Rules of Origin under the TCA, please click here

UK Companies will be able to claim preferential access by: 

  • Self-certification by the exporter (standard) or

  • Self-certification by the importer (newish).


For more guidance on claiming preferential rates of duty between the UK and EU, please click here

Need further support on RoO?   We have a training coming up in February, and we can also connect you with one of our Strategic Partners for further support. Just email us at

#RulesofOrigin #selfcertification #invoicedeclarations #cumulation #preferentialaccess

Q15.1 We are a UK company currently importing from some Non-EU market such as China and then re-exporting to EU markets without carrying out any further process on the goods imported.  Can you please advice if we can use a self declaration to access preferential duty rate when exporting to EU?

We know this is one area that is causing much confusion on traders as the TCA says we can trade with the EU tariff free.  Which is true as long as goods meet specific rules of origin as detailed in the agreement.

The TCA allows as explained above for full bilateral cumulation - meaning UK and EU content/processes can be included to claim for EU or UK origin; however, if you are importing from a Non-EU market into the UK and then re-exporting to the EU without any substantial transformation of those goods in the UK, then effectively your goods will be of Chinese origin, therefore you/your buyer in EU will not be able to claim preferential duty rate.

Please check the Detailed Rules of Origin Guidance which apply to the New EU-UK TCA.

#Rulesoforigin #EUUKTCA #PostBrexit rules #Importing #Reexporting #UK #EU

Q16. Where can we find if we can continue using 'Self Certifications'  (e.g. invoice declarations or long term supplier certifications) for preferential access purposes?

It is our understanding the use of self certifications for preferential access will depend on what has been agreed on each of the new trade deals signed by the UK.   We know some have included provisions for this such as the one with South Korea and Turkey, but this may not be the case for all of the other agreements.  For now, if you are interested in finding out which agreements have included the option for self-certification, please check the list of Trade Agreements here.

Each trade agreement should have clauses regarding rules of origin, which will indicate what are the respective thresholds percentages for content and what 'cumulation' principles can be applied to claim origin.   For more information about using self-declarations to support a proof of origin, please click here

If no provisions for self-certification are made in the agreement, then UK companies can use:

  • UK EUR1 Movement Certificates for Preferential access

  • UK & Arab Certificates of Origin for Non- Preferential access

Please note the Chamber continues to issue these documents which are widely recognised worldwide.  For more information about our services, please click here

#FTA #TradeAgreement #RulesofOrigin #CertificateofOrigin #COO #UKEUR #UKCOO

Q17. What export documentation services will be changing from 1st January 2021?

As we leave the EU single market and customs union, the Chamber will no longer be able to issue European Certificates of Origin, EUR1s or ATRs.   Instead we will be issuing UK certificates of Origin and UK EUR1s.

For more information about the changes, please visit our website.

Last updated:  11/10/21

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