on 26 October 2020

As you are well aware now, importing & exporting from Europe will completely change come 1st January 2021.


Free movement across the European borders will end on 31st December 2020 and all arrivals & exits to/from the UK will require a full customs entry. As there is no trade deal (at the moment), import duties on products will be necessary although importers can opt out of paying VAT at importation by using the postponed VAT accounting system.


So, what to do…………………….



At the moment, it is very likely that your European suppliers are arranging the drayage from origin warehouse to your designated UK warehouse for which you pay them directly. At the moment, you will be completing Government intrastat documents declaring the product, value & weight (this is for UK government statistic purposes). If, come January 1st your supplier will continue to deliver from origin warehouse to your designated warehouse, they will probably have their own UK Customs broker to  complete the UK Customs formalities on your behalf. All that they will do however, is a ‘frontier declaration’ to keep the trailer moving and the onus will be on you to issue final Customs declarations (a supplementary declaration) to physically clear the consignment within six months of the arrival. You will be required to keep an audit trial for Customs inspection. Alternatively, you can advise the trailer operator that you prefer your own UK Customs broker (us) to look after the import declaration on your behalf directly and we will arrange the customs clearance on arrival avoiding the need to issue a supplementary declaration within six months of the arrival. Your supplier may decide to change the terms from Delivered to Ex-works meaning they will provide the product at their factory door and you will be responsible to arrange collection and delivery to your UK warehouse. That is probably unlikely in most cases but probable in some. That being the case, we will gladly seek operators to work on our behalf to get your product from A to B. UK Customs are stressing that you MUST be EORI registered (I think you will find you already are) and that you should a apply for a Deferment Account Number (DAN), this is so to reduce the number of Flexible Accounting transactions via internet banking. There is no hard and fast rule that you MUST have a deferment account, we as your employed Customs broker, can pay the revenues through the FAS system. If you already have a DAN you need not concern yourself about this. In order for us to arrange the (advanced) Customs declaration, we will require…

                Commercial invoice/Pack list

                Copy CMR note

                Trailer No.


With this information to hand we can make out the UK Customs import declaration well in advance of arrival at the UK channel ports. We will always send you a copy of the customs cleared entry to hold on file should Customs require any future checks.



Again, from January 1st, anything & everything leaving the UK for any European destination will require a UK Customs export entry. Without this document the container or trailer cannot exit the country. Likely that you will express EX-Works terms to your European buyers putting the emphasis on them to make sure a Customs exit document exists. They will likely arrange this themselves but you will need to supply then a copy commercial invoice. We, as your employed UK Customs broker, will complete this on your behalf if you so prefer (you will be required to keep a record of what you sell to European buyers – much the same way you do now by completing and recording Intrastat information) and the way it will work is that you offer us (in advance if possible)….

                Copy commercial invoice/Packing list

                Product details

                Likely collection date from your UK warehouse

                Port of likely exit.


We will send you a copy if the Export Customs entry to hold on file as evidence of export (and for UK VAT purposes)


I trust you find this useful for now (accepting that things could still change should European Government & UK Government eventually reach a trade deal)


Best wishes