Exporting and doing business abroad

Move goods within the EU

You need to complete certain tasks to move goods within the EU.

  1. Check if you need a licence or to follow special rules to export restricted goods from the UK.

  2. Your courier or freight forwarder will ask you to complete a proforma invoice. Charge VAT if you’d do the same for customers in the UK.

  3. Attach the proforma invoice (and licence, if you need one) to your consignment.

Some countries may have import rules for certain goods. You can check by talking to your importer or getting help researching your export market.

Exporting after Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you’ll need to follow the rules for exporting goods to the rest of the world.

Your goods will need to meet EU customs rules if they arrive in the EU after 11:59pm Central European Time (10:59pm UK time) on the day the UK leaves the EU.

After you export

You must keep records of proforma invoices and any official paperwork for 6 years.

Tasks for bigger exporters

Register for VAT in the country you’re selling to if you’re distance selling and both:

  • the total value of goods is over the country’s distance selling threshold (PDF, 147KB) - in most countries this is €35,000
  • you’re selling to consumers (rather than businesses)

If you moved goods anywhere within the EU worth over £250,000 in the last calendar year, make an Intrastat declaration. You do not need to do this if you’re not registered for VAT in the UK.