Guidance

Import licences and certificates from 1 January 2021

Licences, certificates and special rules for bringing goods into the UK from 1 January 2021.

You’ll need to get a licence or certificate to import some types of goods into the UK.

You might also need to pay an inspection fee for some goods before they’re allowed into the UK.

 Animals, plants, food and agricultural products

Drugs, chemicals and waste

Published 10 July 2020
Last updated 28 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to importing chemicals guidance.

  2. First published.

  1. Step 1 Check if you should follow this step by step

    You should follow different guidance if you're:

  2. Step 2 Find out how to declare goods from 1 January 2021

    From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU. These rules currently apply to importing goods from the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

    You can make the declarations yourself, but most businesses use a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

    1. Find out how to make customs declarations yourself
    2. Get someone to deal with customs for you
  3. and Check the new rules for your type of goods

  4. Step 3 Make sure you have an EORI number starting with GB

    You need an EORI number that starts with GB to import goods from 1 January 2021.

    1. Get an EORI number
  5. Step 4 Check the rate of tax and duty you’ll need to pay

    You need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.

    1. Check the rate of customs duty on imports from 1 January 2021
    2. Check the rate of VAT
  6. Step 5 Check if you can make the importing process quicker

    From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU.

    In some situations, you can delay making a declaration for up to 6 months after you imported the goods.

    1. Check if you can declare your goods later to make the importing process quicker

Brexit transition

Check you’re ready for 2021