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.
Considering we are constantly adding to this section, please use the search box on the top right to find specific topics across our Hub.
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 GB 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 GB 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.
#EORI #incoterms #DDP #EU #GBEORI #EUEORI #VAT
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 for them to do customs clearances in the UK, they will require to 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. Under ExW please note is the buyer who is responsible for arranging transport and the export customs declaration in UK, so you are not legally entitled to these.
There are other issues with using ExW which you need to be mindful of, for instance, if your customer is completing customs declaration and using your GB EORI number on it, 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 and/or VAT on my EU imports at the end of the transition period?
The UK has reached a Trade & Cooperation Agreements (TCA) with the EU which allows for full trade liberalisation of the goods meaning no quotas or import duties for goods that qualify, this means they meet Rules of Origin. For detailed guidance whether you can claim origin or not and thus preferential duty, please check UK Gov Guidance here and you can also use the 'How to Export' UK Gov online tool to check the specific Rules of Origin that apply to your specific commodity code, as well as other requirements.
We understand this is one area that is causing a lot of confusion for exporters and importers, and thus we also suggest you read our RoO blog to understand the basics about these and if you need more tailored and in-depth support to consider using our Bespoke Service.
#Duties #VAT #Import #EUExit #Rulesoforigin
Q5. What additional documentation will I need for exporting and importing to/from the EU?
The UK is now officially of the Customs union and single market, so now we have a border with the EU. To understand how the movement of goods will take place between EU & UK, traders will need to observe the 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.
When Exporting, make sure to use the UK Gov Online Tool 'How to Export'
When importing, make sure to use the 'Trading with the UK' Tool
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
#CustomsDeclarations #EUExit #Exporters #Importers #Newrules
Q5.2. Is there any support from the government to help us with Customs Declarations?
UPDATE - Please note this grant is now CLOSED. However the UK Government has now launched a new £2,000 grant to help companies with costs of training and consultancy. Read more here
As we leave the EU Single Markets, it is expected the number of customs declarations will go from about 50 million to 270-300 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)
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?
Use the 'Trading with the UK Online Tool' to identify what import duties and other taxes will apply to your specific commodity code whether these are coming from EU or Rest of the World. The tool, we understand has been updated with the tariffs agreed under the new Trade Agreements the UK has signed as well as with the new UK Most Favoured Nation Tariffs (which does differs from the EU common tariff).
#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
#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, which will come into force from 1st Jan 2021 and whether these 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 around 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 releasing goods from a customs warehouse into another customs procedures such as inward processing or re-exporting, then no UK MFN duty will be payable. If you re-export the goods in the same state as you import them, then you may find out that your goods may be subject to import tariffs at their export destination. If using inward processing and the goods suffered a transformation, you will need to check specific rules of origin to that specific commodity code to check if you can or not claim preferential duty rate at the export destination.
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.
If you are importing goods from China into a UK Customs/Bonded warehouse and then re-exporting to another EU exactly as you import them from China, then depending on the commodity code on those goods, then no UK MFN will be payable, but EU Common import tariff will likely apply when exporting to the EU.
#UKMFN #importduties #customswarehousing #specialcustomsprocedure #freecirculation #reexporting #rulesoforigin
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?
From 1st Jan 2021, UK companies no longer can benefit from EU VAT triangulation. You need to clarify in first instance what incoterm are you using in this type of 'movement' to clarify who is responsible for what in the 'export-import' process, and of course there are new VAT considerations to bear in mind depending on the movement.
Scenarios for VAT Triangulation included (prior to Brexit):
UK Company buys goods from EU Supplier who then ships goods directly to UK company's customers in the UK
EU Company sell goods to UK Company but ships goods directly to UK Company's customers based in EU
EU Supplier sells goods to UK Company but ships goods directly to UK Company's customers based outside the EU.
We are working with VAT specialists who are offering free advice to UK companies on these sort of scenarios and advising as well on the general customs considerations behind. So if you want us to introduce you to them, please email us at
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 when exporting to EU, these goods will not meet the RoO under the EU-UK TCA so will no qualify for a free tariff, and likely EU common tariff will be applicable.
Please check the Detailed Rules of Origin Guidance which apply to the New EU-UK TCA.
#Rulesoforigin #EUUKTCA #PostBrexit rules #Importing #Reexporting #UK #EU
Q15.2 We are an UK company importing goods from EU and then re-exporting the goods, without significant transformation, back to other EU Customers. Can those re-enter the EU with 0% duty?
If the EU goods meet the Rules of Origin under the EU-UK TCA, then they will be imported into the UK tariff free. If those goods are re-exported back to EU, without a significant transformation taking place in the UK, then, these goods would have effectively lost their EU (union) goods status, so tariffs would apply.
Once the goods exit the EU or UK, they lose their preferential status.
Only if the goods undergo a sufficient transformation in line with the RoO requirements on the TCA, then preferential duty could be claimed. However, you need to check your specific commodity code rules of origin, using either the UK Gov 'Export Checker Tool' or the 'Import Checker Tool'.
We also encourage companies to use the EU Access Database Tool when exporting from the UK to an EU state to verify duties applicable. Use the 'ROSA' (Rules of Origin Section) to help you understand if your goods meet or not the preferential criteria under the EU-UK TCA.
UK Companies can consider some special customs procedures such as Transit, Outward Processing or Return Goods Relief, but you need to understand the implications of using these and whether your specific case could utilise any of these.
#RulesofOrigin #Tariffs #Preferential #ReturnedGoods #SpecialCustomsProcedures #Transit #OutwardProcessing
Q15.3 Where can I find what rules of origin apply to my goods?
Rules will vary from commodity code to commodity code and also depends on the preference agreement in place between the UK and the countries you are exporting to or importing from.
The UK Government has now launched two new online tools which can help traders identify what specific rules apply to their commodity codes:
For more information about Rules of Origin, read our blog in the News & Alert Section.
#RulesofOrigin #Commoditycodes #Tradeagreement
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, what 'cumulation' principles can be applied to claim origin, and what proof of origin will be allowed for preferential and non-preferential purposes (e.g. UK COOS, UK EUR1s, invoice declarations, etc).
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.
#ExportDocumentation #CertificatesofOrigin #Preferential #nonPreferential #UKEUR1 #UKCOO
Q18. What is a MRN and how do I get it?
A MRN stands for Movement Reference Number and is a customs identification number that’s automatically created each time a declaration is submitted for importing or exporting goods by the customs system in the country where the declaration is submitted. For further information and guidance on this, please check the UK Gov Guide on MRN.
#MRN #Customs #MovementReferenceNumber #export #import #CHIEF #CDS #NTCS
Q18.1 Our partners in EU are asking for a T1 but we do not know what is and how do we get it? Can you help?
A T1 is a transit document which ensures crossing boarders without import charges within the EU, the EFTA-states and further contracting parties.
T1 is a customs financial guarantee. If for some reason the goods are not delivered to the customs checkpoint of the desired destination, the agent that issued the guarantee will be obliged to pay the customs duties, which would be issued after the customs clearance of the goods for use in the European Union.
T1s declarations must be done electronically via the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), which is a paperless system, however, a covering document known as The Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) must come along the goods during transit and should be presented together with the goods at any Transit Office on route and at the office destination. The TAD will include the Movement reference Number (MRN) generated by the NCTS produced upon acceptance of the declaration.
T1 must be done by whoever is responsible for arranging the transport. Please ensure you understand the responsibilities under the incoterms you are using.
#Transit #T1 #Incoterms #Transport #NCTS #MRN #TAD #CustomsProcedure
Q18.2 Can the Chamber help with T1s as part of your customs declaration services?
Unfortunately not for the moment. We will update customers if this is possible later on.
#T1 #Transit #NCTS #TAD #Export #Import #Transport #MRN
Q19. Can you tell me if we need to ensure our wooden pallets meet the ISPM15 certification when trading with Europe?
According to UK Government guidance, the answer is yes. If you use, produce or supply wood packaging material (WPM) to move goods to or from the EU or the rest of the world, you must make sure it meets international standards.
If you import or export any goods using WPM or supply WPM to businesses, you need to follow the rules to meet ISPM15 international standards from 1 January 2021. This is so you can move WPM between Great Britain (GB) – England, Scotland and Wales – and other countries, including EU member states and Switzerland.
drums and similar containers
pallets, box pallets, pallet collars and other load boards
dunnage (loose wood used to protect goods and their packaging)
For further guidance, click here
#Woodenpackaging #Pallets #ISPM15 #Exports #Imports #Newrules
Q19. How valuation of imported goods for customs, VAT and trade statistic purposes take place?
There are a number of methods for establishing the value on which Customs Duty and import VAT is calculated on imported goods. The same value is also used for trade statistics. Please check the UK Gov Guidance on this here
Should you require further advice, please use our Bespoke Service.
#Imports #Customsvaluation #duty #VAT
Q20. We are exporting to EU but facing difficulties with our cargo being stuck with customs and we have not understanding the reasons for this. Can you help?
A trade barrier is something that slows down or stops your company from exporting goods or services to an overseas market. If you need to understand what is considered a trade barrier and report one, you can do it via this link: Trade barriers: what you need to know - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
#Tradebarrier #customs #exports
Last updated: 24/03/21