Guidance

EU business: importing from the UK

Find out what EU businesses need to do to import from the UK.

This page sets out what EU businesses who are importing from the UK need to consider. Check with your EU country’s customs authority about the rules for bringing goods from the UK into the EU.

For more EU business information, visit gov.uk/eubusiness.

Buying or selling goods

Rules have changed and there are border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK. Find out more about how the border with the UK will work.

Make sure you talk to your trading partners in the UK to:

  • agree responsibilities
  • make sure you have the correct paperwork for the type of goods you are trading

You must make sure you have completed the necessary border requirements.

There will be no substantive change for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and member states of the EU, including Ireland.

Transporting goods from the UK to the EU

Hauliers and haulier managers must:

  • use the ‘check an HGV’ service
  • follow new traffic management processes at ports to avoid delays
  • carry the correct documents for your load and complete new online procedures to cross the border

For further information, consult guidance on carrying out international road haulage.

Check import procedures with your country’s customs authority

Businesses in Europe will need to make customs declarations when moving goods between the UK and the EU. If European businesses have not completed the right customs processes their goods will not be able to cross the EU border.

You must check with your country’s customs authority what customs procedures will need to be applied for bringing goods from the UK to the EU.

The UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the EU and the UK, where goods meet the relevant rules of origin.

Importing animals and animal products

Imports of animal and animal products from Great Britain to the EU must comply with new Sanitary and Phytosanitary requirements. This includes being checked at an EU Border Control Post on entry.

The EU importer must notify the Border Control Post that the consignment is arriving.

Find out more about importing animal products from Great Britain to the EU.

Importing plants and plant products

Imports of plants, fruit and vegetables from Great Britain to the EU must comply with new Phytosanitary requirements. Regulated plant and plant products imports may be subject to checks at the EU border. If you import plants, fruit and vegetables from Great Britain, you should:

  • check whether a phytosanitary certificate (PC) is required by contacting the plant health authority in Great Britain or a plant health inspector in your country
  • apply for a PC via your exporter from the relevant plant health authority in Great Britain before export
  • check if your plants require laboratory testing of samples (to ensure they are free from pests and diseases) or inspections during the growing season and allow for sufficient time for this to occur

Find out more about importing plants and plant products.

Importing fish from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)

From 1 January 2021, you will need to follow your own country’s rules and guidelines.

You must make sure the UK exporter supplies a catch certificate.

You may also need to make sure your UK exporter provides:

  • direct landing documents
  • a storage document if the product has been stored
  • a processing statement if the product has been processed

Find out more about importing fish from Great Britain.

F gas and ODS regulation

You must comply with export and import requirements under the fluorinated gas (f gas) and ozone depleting substances (ODS) regulations when exporting to and importing from Great Britain.

The EU F gas and ODS regulations and systems will continue to apply in Northern Ireland so Northern Ireland based businesses can continue trading with the EU/EEA as they already do.

Find out how to comply with the F-gas Regulations.

Importing controlled goods

EU businesses importing controlled goods from the UK will need a licence from the relevant licensing authority.

Check the guidance and take action to have the right licences.

Trading timber

You need to carry out due diligence when importing and exporting timber.

Trading chemicals

If you trade chemicals you must review your role in the EU and UK REACH systems and comply with the rules to maintain access to the UK market.

EU REACH will continue to apply in Northern Ireland so Northern Ireland based businesses can continue trading with the EU/EEA as they already do.

Find out how to comply with REACH chemical regulations.

Published 2 December 2020
Last updated 28 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to make it clear that the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the EU and the UK, where goods meet the relevant rules of origin.

  2. Added translations for Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish

  3. Added the section on transporting goods from the UK to the EU.

  4. First published.