Keep Your Cargo Moving Post-Brexit: Know the Key Changes - Girteka - Responsible Logistics

Keep Your Cargo Moving Post-Brexit: Know the Key Changes


On 24 December 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union reached a post-Brexit trade agreement. Girteka Logistics continues to work to keep your goods moving as smoothly as possible between the UK and the EU, accommodating the new customs procedures.

As a result of the Brexit agreement, the UK and the EU no longer apply the same customs rules, regulatory standards or enforcement mechanisms. The goods crossing the border between the UK and the EU (and return shipments) are now subject to new checks and paperwork, as well as new customs procedures and declarations, that is increasing administration.

The EU is not phasing in border checks, meaning that full customs requirements have been introduced for UK exports to the EU effective 1 January 2021. For EU exports to UK, the UK has introduced requirements in phases, some being applicable from 1 January 2021, additional requirements from 1 April 2021 and full customs will be implemented from 1 July 2021.

What are the key changes?

A change in Tariffs

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement refers to ‘zero tariffs’ (zero customs duties) effective 01 January 2021. Tariffs, such as import duty have been eliminated on the trade of products shipped between the UK and the EU, depending on the origin of the goods.

In order to benefit from preferential tariffs, the products being shipped must have evidence that their country of origin is within the UK or EU. The goods’ country of origin must be recorded and documented correctly, the completeness and accuracy of all information is the traders’ responsibility.

Excise duty is still payable if you are involved in the importation of wines, spirits, tobacco, etc.

Customs formalities between the UK and the EU

As the UK is no longer in the single market or the customs union, customs declarations will be required for all cross-border shipments, effective 1 January 2021. For the UK exports to the EU effective from 1 January 2021 all the applicable customs declarations are required, i.e. export declaration in the UK, transit declaration (when goods are being transported within other EU countries to an EU destination country) and import declaration in EU destination country. If goods are of animal or vegetal origin, there are additional documentation required (export health certificates) and they will be subject to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) border controls before they are allowed to circulate through EU territory.

For the EU exports to the UK the requirements for customs formalities are introduced in phases: export declaration from the EU is required from 1 January 2021, transit declaration is required in some cases (if trader chooses the transportation under the transit procedure), full import declaration must be done within 6 months from importing the goods (if the goods are imported before 1 July 2021). From 1 July 2021 all customs declarations will be required for imports to UK.

The traders are responsible for arranging all customs declarations and documentation required for customs formalities.

To declare the goods as ready to clear the border, traders are obliged to correctly complete a commercial invoice with all necessary information (exporter’s and importer’s EORI codes, INCOTERMS, goods’ country of origin, goods’ description, quantity, weight, goods’ commodity codes etc.), which is the primary documentation used for import control, valuation and duty determination. Other documents based on the type of goods might also be required.

Safety and security declarations have to be submitted in advance of import or export and are required for all EU imports from 1 January 2021. Safety and security declarations in advance of import to GB are postponed till 1 July 2021. Although it is a carrier’s responsibility, these declarations require a correct information from a trader (exporter’s and importer’s EORI codes, INCOTERMS, goods’ country of origin, goods’ description, quantity, weight, goods’ commodity codes etc.).

For the EU imports, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks are in place effective 1 January 2021, including a requirement for the UK Export Health Certificates. The requirements regarding documentation are postponed for the GB imports until 1 April 2021, requirements regarding Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) border controls are postponed for the GB imports until 1 July 2021.

Shipping goods between the EU and the UK

An Economic Operator’s Registration and Identification (EORI) number is a unique identification number assigned by customs to each importer and exporter to monitor the movement of goods.

Businesses shipping between the EU and the UK are now required to register for an EORI number (both EU and UK EORI codes are required). Without the number, your goods will not be cleared through customs, leading to significant delays.

New Import VAT rules

The UK VAT is handled through the VAT returns and is merely accounted for at importation – if you are VAT registered. If not, VAT is payable on the import declaration. New rules apply from 1 January 2021, depending on the value of the goods being shipped.

Contact our sales team to understand more about the changes to shipping goods between the UK and the EU, post-Brexit. And ask about our Full Support Package and let Girteka Logistics manage your customs formalities.

How can Girteka Logistics support you?

Along with our high-quality logistics services, Girteka Logistics has been helping clients for many years with customs formalities. We are continuing our operations post-Brexit and our account managers are here to support you.

For a seamless response to the extensive changes, Girteka Logistics offers a Full Support Package. Signing up for the package means we manage all your customs procedures, covering exportation and all transit formalities, as well as import declarations in UK, for shipping goods to and from the UK. Unfortunately, Girteka Logistics does not have a possibility to manage your import declarations in EU at the moment, but we are constantly looking for ways to be able offering such services as well

 The Full Support Package can effectively:

  • Save time

  • Reduce any possible points of friction

  • Optimize cargo transportation

  • Remove the stress of dealing with new requirements

“Customs solutions for us is nothing new since we are working every day with clients in Norway, Switzerland, Russia and the CIS countries. And with the changes in the UK, we have been fully prepared and partnered with customs clearance experts to provide tailored customs solutions for shipping goods to and from the UK” says Šarūnas Stanislovėnas, Head of Sales and Marketing, Europe, at Girteka Logistics

Contact us directly to learn more about our Full Support Package, its terms and conditions and our support for customs clearance. For providing such services conclusion of agreement for providing customs clearance services will be necessary.

Additionally, we offer you solutions for working directly with our partner in UK, or, if you prefer to organize the relevant customs procedures yourself, then we can accommodate this with our existing logistics services.

If you are deciding between the three options or would like to understand more about how Brexit affects your supply chain, our account managers will be happy to answer any of your questions directly. Please contact us using the form below:

    Which type of services are you interested in?

    When will your load be ready for collection?

    Pick-up location

    Delivery location

    How many Full Truck Loads do you deliver per year?

    What type of trailer do you need?

    Is there are any additional information you would like to add?

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