The United Kingdom left the EU on January 1st 2021

On leaving the EU some 250’000 traders are now dealing with Customs formalities for the first time…and that’s just in the UK, many business’s across Europe are now confronted with unfamiliar Customs paperwork, it is estimated an additional 200 million declarations will be required every year going forward, paperwork keeps goods moving and is essential to the success of any EU supply chain.

Eurosprint Freight Services Brexit

Trading with the EU - Checklist

To trade between the UK/EU you need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number.
To apply please follow the following link – here.

Incoterms are used to agree how costs and responsibilities are shared between the buyer and seller; they will become an important aspect of trade with the EU from 1st January 2021. Please refer to the International Chamber of Commerce for further information. Our suggested terms for Export and Import shipments are Free Carrier (FCA) and Delivered at Place (DAP). For more information on why we suggest this please email

Incoterms® 2020 – ICC – International Chamber of Commerce (

As an exporter you need to ensure you comply with any permits, licenses, or checks that are required for your goods. As an importer you need to confirm the commodity code so that the appropriate tariffs are paid.

You can find details on Commodity here – EU TARIC or UK TARIFF.

The current trade agreement offers Duty Free trade on the majority of commodities, to take advantage of this the shipper must declares and be able to prove the goods are of UK/EU origin. If this is not done then Duty will apply as per the trade tariff.

Some goods will need additional checks & licenses. Anything on the list below will require full declarations in the UK 24 hours before arriving at the UK port. If you are unsure if your goods are “controlled” please email

  • Excise goods
  • Endangered species (CITES-listed endangered animals and plants or their products)
  • Controlled drugs and precursors
  • Fishery products
  • Fertilizers
  • Explosive, firearms, fireworks, etc.
  • Ozone depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons
  • Nuclear

The commercial invoice provided by the seller needs to have the all the information needed to create export and import declarations correctly.

The information required is as follows-

  • Consignor name and address.
  • Consignee name and address.
  • Seller and Buyer EORI number
  • Commodity Codes
  • Product description
  • Gross & Net weight
  • Value & Currency of goods
  • Country of origin AND declaration if claiming of GB/EU Origin.
  • No and type of packaging
  • Terms of Sale – (Incoterms)

When exporting from the EU to the UK a statement on origin can be made out by any exporter where the value of the consignment is 6,000 euros (currently £5,700) or less. Above this amount the EU exporter must have a Registered Exporter (REX) number and include it in the statement.

If the EU shipper does not add the REX number to the declaration then Duty, when applicable to the product, will be payable.

Declaration –

For Values below 5700 GBP/6000 EURO –

“The exporter of the products covered by this document, (Enter REX OR EORI number), declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of [Enter origin of the goods: either UK or EU] preferential origin.”

For values above 5700 GBP/6000 EURO –

“The exporter of the products covered by this document, (Enter REX number), declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of [Enter origin of the goods: either UK or EU] preferential origin.”

For more information on Origin rules and regulations please visit –

*When exporting from the UK to the EU you must include your EORI number in any statement you issue to your EU customer, regardless of the value.  We are not aware of any EU countries asking for REX numbers from UK shippers currently, but this may change.

  • Please consider how you will pay for VAT and Duties from 1st January 2021 for goods you are Importing from the EU.
  • You may wish to consider applying for your own Deferment account.
  • Please also check with your EU customer how they will pay for VAT and DUTY on any goods arriving from the UK. This is an area causing many delays at present, please ensure your EU buyer is prepared!
  • Your business may have the knowledge and experience to do declarations in-house but what happens if that person is on holiday or off sick? What happens if a trailer arrives as the weekend or between Christmas and New Year?
  • It is recommended a customs agent is used for Import declarations.
  • Eurosprint Freight Services have 20 years’ experience and can assist with all UK arrivals regardless of who is paying for the freight.
  • If you would like Eurosprint to act as your Direct Customs Agent, please emails and request an application form be provided. This is only 1 page and can be set up very quickly.

Customs Clearance - FAQs

  • Customs Clearance 247 is a division of Eurosprint Freight Services, an AEO-certified business, we provide fast and efficient customs clearance services for shipments arriving and departing from all major UK ports and airports, including Dover, East Midlands, Birmingham Felixstowe, Southampton, and London Gateway.
  • Customs Clearance is not a 9-5pm business, so neither are we, shipments are crossing the UK border 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, hence the need for Customs Clearance 247.
  • Whether you’re seeking a long-term partner to look after all of your customs clearances, or you require help with a one-off shipment, we are here to support you.
  • Get in touch today, discover how we can assist your business and make trading overseas simple and complex free –
  • Customs clearance is the process of declaring goods as they move through a border, whether importing or exporting, it is a compulsory process for all goods, this is so that HMRC can gather statistical data on the country’s imports and exports, ensure that goods are travelling with the required licenses and certification, and collect any taxes and duties that are applicable.
  • For a basic customs clearance we will need the shipper’s invoice and packing list, if moving by Sea or Air a copy of the Airwaybill or Bill of Lading also.
  • More complicated shipments, food products for example, may require further documentation such as a Certificate or Origin or a Health Certificate, Importers should check before purchasing if any special documentation is needed to clear UK customs.
  • Customs clearance is a compulsory requirement for any goods passing through a country border, or when leaving a custom’s authorised facility such as a bonded warehouse or inland border.
  • All goods that are entering or leaving the UK through Seaports, Airports or through the Channel Tunnel will require a customs clearance.
  • A customs clearance can be completed in a matter of minutes or hours depending on the software, the experience of the broker and the number of products shown on the invoice, but it can also extend to days or weeks if there is missing documentation or the goods need to be inspected, this can be a pre booked inspection due to the commodity, food items for example, or a random “spot check” carried out by HMRC.
  • A customs broker is not essential for your customs clearance, but it will often be the easiest and cheapest way to customs clear your cargo.
  • The training to complete a UK customs clearance can be very complicated and time consuming, whilst a broker will already have this training and experience.
  • The costs for customs software and the individual costs to access ports of entry, each port has its own cost often referred to as a badge, can be expensive, whilst a broker will already have the software and access points in place.
  • Using a customs broker is likely to save you time and money when compared to processing UK customs clearances yourself.
  • Eurosprint Freight Services are an AEO-certified business with links to all UK ports, we can help with any import and export customs clearance requirements,
  • Duty is a tax levied by a country on all imported goods. It is charged as a percentage of a product’s value, as determined by its commodity code, every commodity code has its own duty rate, they vary greatly and are a key element of the total product cost.
  • UK commodity codes can be found on the government’s Trade Tariff Website.
  • VAT is generally charged on the amount paid for the goods plus the shipping costs. Combined, this is known as the ‘taxable import’ cost.
  • VAT is currently set at 20% in the UK, however there are reduced VAT conditions on some products/commodity codes.
  • Whilst Import duty can’t be claimed back, VAT-registered businesses are able to claim VAT back on all of their imports
  • UK customs clearance requires the border value of the goods to be declared, this means the cost of the goods, freight, and insurance at the time of crossing the border.
  • It is illegal to falsely declare the value of a product, or intentionally use an incorrect commodity code, in order to lower duty amounts.
  • A commodity code tells HMRC what your goods are. Every product has a commodity code in the HMRC tariff.
  • Commodity codes in the main are harmonised with other countries so that the same code is recognisable around the world.
  • The commodity code that you use to transport your goods will determine the amount of Duty and VAT paid and whether additional licenses or border checks are required.
  • Using the correct commodity code is essential, any intentional misdeclarations to avoid paying the correct duty or avoid border checks is illegal.
  • Most importers and exporters will have a freight forwarder or customs broker that will arrange customs clearance and pay any customs charges on their behalf using a duty deferment account, the importer will be sent an invoice by the freight forwarder or customs broker detailing the charges once the goods arrive in the country. Without credit terms these charges will need to be paid before the goods are released for onward transport.
  • In certain circumstances, the importer won’t be liable for the payment of import charges, this will depend on the Incoterm which has been agreed in the terms of sale between the buyer and seller.
  • UK importers can apply for there own duty deferment account via HMRC.

Eurosprint Freight Services are an AEO-certified business, complete the form below for a quick quote or call 0121 785 0666 to speak with an expert.