Get your EU business ready for Brexit

If you're an EU business not established in the UK, check what you'll need to do differently to move goods and services into or out of the UK in a no-deal Brexit.

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Getting goods through customs

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You’ll need to use the same import and export processes that are used for non-EU countries who do not have a trading arrangement with the EU.

This means that when moving goods:

  • an export declaration will need to be made in order to remove goods from either the EU or UK customs territory
  • an import declaration will need to be made in order to enter goods into either the EU or UK customs territory
  • the carrier will need certain information in order to move your goods between the territories

What you need to do will depend on the arrangements that you put in place with your UK trading partner and any customs representatives or carriers.

If your business is not established in the UK it will normally be your UK trading partner who makes the UK declaration. But if you need to do this yourself, you’ll need to get a UK representative.

Find more information about:

Food, drink or agricultural products

If you export food, drink or agricultural products to the UK you should check what you need to do including what documents, licenses and certificates are needed (and how to apply for them).

Animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed not of animal origin

If you export animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed in to the UK check what you need to do.

If you export fish to the UK from the EU you should check what documents you need to provide and make sure that EU fishing vessels land fish into a designated UK port.

You may need to pre-notify the UK authorities about the goods you export from the EU into the UK border, and your consignment may need to be checked on arrival.

Moving merchandise in baggage or by car

If you are bringing goods into or out of the UK in your baggage or a small motor vehicle for business use, you will need to declare them and pay import duty and VAT.

Bringing cash into the UK

If you’re travelling between the UK and the EU with £10,000 or more in cash, you’ll need to declare it up to 72 hours before arriving in the UK.

Import VAT on parcels

You must pay import VAT on parcels you sell to UK buyers if you:

  • are based outside the UK
  • sell goods sent in parcels worth £135 or less to UK buyers

Find out more about paying import VAT on parcels.

If you sell goods sent in parcels worth over £135, the import VAT, Customs Duty (and Excise Duty where applicable) should be paid by the UK buyer and collected by the parcel operator.

Changes to VAT IT systems

There will be changes to how you:

Providing services

You need to check how services are regulated and professional qualifications obtained if your business:

  • has branches or subsidiaries in the UK
  • operates in a service sector within the UK
  • is planning a merger with a UK company
  • sends employees to the UK for business
  • has employees that provide services in a regulated profession

Transferring personal data

Your business may need to make some changes to the way you share personal data with businesses in the UK.

Personal data transfers could be:

  • customer addresses in delivery details
  • personnel files in outsourced HR, accounts, back office functions
  • intra-company transfers of customer details

Selling manufactured goods

You’ll need to check what you need to do to continue placing manufactured goods on the UK market including regulatory requirements on labelling, approvals and testing.

Employing UK nationals

UK employees who require a professional qualification to practise in the EU must have had their qualification recognised by the relevant EU regulator.

Check the arrangements for UK nationals with the immigration authorities in your country.

Sending workers to the UK

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their families will still be able to move to the UK, but if they wish to stay after 31 December 2020 they will need to apply for European temporary leave to remain.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to stay in the UK, including after 31 December 2020. They’ll continue to have the right to enter, live, work and study in the UK under Common Travel Area arrangements.

Find out about visiting the UK after Brexit.

More information

If you have questions about Brexit readiness for your business or customers, check here for details of upcoming information events or email:

Published 20 September 2019
Last updated 11 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. The EU traders guide to importing from the UK after Brexit in French, German and Spanish has been added.

  2. The EU traders guide to importing from the UK after Brexit Italian translation has been added.

  3. The 'EU traders guide to importing from the UK after Brexit' has been added to the page.

  4. First published.