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11 Nov 2020

Business after Brexit: 5 things you need to know about new import rules

Business after Brexit: 5 things you need to know about new import rules

Last month, the Department for International Trade released a series of new regulations outlining how trade must be conducted between the UK and the EU from 1st January 2021. Of course, these new rules are complex and pose their own challenges for UK retailers. That’s why in the coming weeks we will be outlining some of the key rules and regulations to help you understand exactly what Brexit will mean for your business. To start off, take a look at some of the key things to remember about the new rules.

Customs declarations for importing from the EU will change

As EU businesses, UK retailers did not previously have to declare goods arriving from suppliers also within the EU. Now, retailers will have to declare all goods arriving from within the EU. This is already the case for importing from non-EU countries such as the USA, China and other non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland. You can make the declarations yourself, but most businesses use a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

  • Find out how to declare customs yourself here.
  • Find out more about having someone else deal with your customers here

There are new rules for importing certain types of goods

From 1st January 2021, there will be different rules for importing goods in categories including food, seeds, alcohol and tobacco. You may need to update the licenses and certifications for any products you import that fall under these categories.

  • Find out more about licences and certifications here.
  • Find out more about rules for food, seeds and manufactured goods here.
  • Find out more about rules for alcohol, tobacco and certain oils here.   

Make sure you have an EORI number starting with GB

If you already import from non-EU countries, you will already have an EORI number. EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification and is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which undertake the import or export of goods into or out of the EU. If you do not have an EORI, you may have increased costs and delays.

  • Find out how to get an EORI number here.

The amount of tax and duty you pay on imports may change

Businesses need to duty and VAT on all imports. The new tax scheme for imports into the UK is called the UK Global Tariff and will apply to all goods imported from 1st January 2021, unless an exception applies.

  • Find out more about the UK Global Tariff here.

You may be able to delay declaring customs for up to 6 months

In order to make importing a quicker and easier process, businesses may be eligible to defer customs declarations for up to 6 months.

  • Find out more about delaying declarations here.

In order to provide our retailers and exhibitors with the most up to date information surrounding Brexit and trade we will be publishing a series of bitesize guides surrounding the points above. Please keep up to date with the Moda blog for all the latest updates.  

Discover more Brexit guides here: 


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