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.
We hope the answers below will be useful, however, if you feel you need further support, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team via firstname.lastname@example.org
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 in the near future. Once the UK leaves the EU, this will be required to trade with the European Union. HMRC recently informed that UK VAT registered businesses have been automatically issued with a UK EORI number. To apply for a EORI number click here.
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:
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.
if 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 customers and/or suppliers, make sure they have also applied for an EU EORI number so they can continue trading with you after Brexit.
Q3. I am currently selling Ex-Works to my EU customers. Will I need to change this in the event of a no-deal or post-Brexit?
No, unless your EU customer(s) wish to re-negotiate the way you currently trade with them. However, we do recommend you use another incoterm such as FCA or similar where you will be able to access proof of exports for your business. If you do decide continue trading ExW, ensure you are keeping evidence of exports.
Q4. Will I have to pay VAT on my EU imports in the event of a No-deal?
Yes. In the event of a no-deal, the UK will be subject to trade under the WTO terms, thus, 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
Q5. What additional documentation will I need for exporting and importing to/from the EU?
In the event of a no-deal, UK businesses will need to submit extra documentation when trading with EU customers and/or suppliers, such as Customs Declarations. You can do this 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).
If importing, please note: you could benefit from applying to the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), which allow you to delay submitting the declarations and payment of duty.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, certain goods may be subject to additional export and import documentation, such as: export licences or health certificates. Please make sure you check before you send or receive any goods to ensure you are compliant with UK and international regulations.
Q6. How can I find out the rate of import duties to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
After Brexit, without a deal, the UK will be treated as a third country by the EU – therefore Third Country Duties will be applied to UK goods. To see what the current rate is, you can search your product tariff code on the UK tariff search and to check what import duties may be applied to your products post-Brexit as a third country, you can check the EU TARIC website.
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 will also need to consider VAT implications and whether you will need to register in the EU country where you are exporting to, or appoint a local agent to manage this on your behalf.
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 Brexit.
However, having AEO status may 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
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.