Guidance

Importing, exporting and transporting products or goods after Brexit

When the UK leaves the EU there may be changes to UK-EU trade at the UK border including on customs, tariffs, VAT, safety and security, documentation, vehicle standards, and controlled products.

This will affect your business if you:

  • buy products or goods from abroad
  • sell products or goods abroad
  • transport goods abroad

What your business needs to do now

  1. If you are an importer or exporter you should get a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number so you can continue to import or export goods and apply for authorisations that will make customs processes easier for you.

  2. If you do not move your goods yourself, contact the organisation that moves your goods (for example, a haulage firm) to find out if they can make customs declarations for your goods, or if you will need to make them yourself.

  3. If you are responsible for declaring goods, decide if you want to hire an import-export agent to make customs declarations, or make the declarations yourself. You can apply for customs declarations grants to get funding for training and IT improvements.

  4. Check the simplified customs procedures for trading with the EU if we leave without a deal.

  5. Prepare for changes to trading with non-EU countries that have a free trade agreement with the EU. When the UK leaves the EU, the way you access existing preferential arrangements with these countries may change. Changes may be different for each country.

  6. Talk to your customers, suppliers and customs agents to understand your responsibilities within the supply chain. Stay alert to new tariffs and how they may apply, implications for VAT on imports and exports, and what new customs checks will impact the supply chain.

  7. Stay updated. Some of these requirements may change depending on the terms that the UK leaves the EU. Revisit this page or sign up to HMRC’s EU Exit update service (add your email address, select ‘Submit’, select ‘Add subscription’, choose ‘EU Exit’ then ‘Submit’).

Hauliers and freight forwarders only

  1. Make sure drivers know what documents they will need at the border. Find more information on requirements for UK commercial drivers driving abroad from 29 March 2019.

  2. Prepare for trailer registration. From 28 March 2019 you must register commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg before they can travel to or through specific EU and EEA countries.

  3. Sign up for updates on professional driving of lorries, buses and coaches, the DVLA notification system, road freight email alerts and DVSA email alerts to be updated on changes to transporting goods in the EU and EEA.

Further information

Consider whether you need separate professional advice on how these arrangements could affect your business. The information provided here is meant for guidance only.

The government has prepared a pack of resources on preparing for changes at the UK border after a ‘no deal’ EU exit. This includes guides for:

Published 6 February 2019
Last updated 22 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added new action (number 5) under heading 'What your business needs to do now', about preparing for changes to trading with non-EU countries that have a free trade agreement with the EU.
  2. First published.