Brexit: An Essential Summary for Freight and Logistics Customers

The UK has left the EU. The Brexit transition period ends this year, and new Brexit trade rules are coming into effect from the 1st of January, 2021. With handling and customs delays inevitable under the new Brexit model, it’s imperative to be as prepared as possible before the year is over. This means readying all the necessary legal paperwork as well as getting up to speed on the key Brexit negotiations in relation to trade logistics. In this brief Brexit update summary for traders, we share our quick overview of the most crucial Brexit import and export rule changes.

For a deeper dive into the subject, and to stay in the loop on any logistics-related Brexit news, please refer to the UK Government’s Border Operating Model. This official resource should be utilized alongside the UK trade tariffs to obtain a detailed breakdown on essential logistics and clearance information that you will need to prepare for Brexit.



Communication With EU and UK Suppliers is Paramount

First and foremost, we strongly advise to open a dialogue with your suppliers to discuss and review their Brexit preparations. This means double checking down the entire supply chain; with questions such as:

  • How will the required Brexit trade paperwork be transferred at loading points and between drivers?
  • Will suppliers need to change to timed collections after Brexit to facilitate a robust process for declarations?
  • Will incoterms change after Brexit?

Remember that failure to comply with both EU and UK Brexit regulations will result in refused shipments, delays and hefty costs.

Key Brexit Regulation Update #1 - Pallets

From the 1st of January 2021, only fumigated and treated stamped wooden ISPM pallets and cases will be permitted in import/export with the UK. Compliant pallets will bear the following stamp:




Key Brexit Regulation Update #2 - Tariff Changes on Goods

Import and export tariffs have changed on many types of goods due to Brexit. The main products of interest are excise goods, which include alcohol (There are notable higher tariffs for importing wine originating from Europe). For the full list of Brexit tariff changes, please refer to the Government's updated list of new UK trade tariffs. There are also new marking, labelling and marketing standards that must be followed from the 1st of January 2021.


Key Brexit Regulation Update #3 - EORI Numbers and New Brexit Customs Paperwork

Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) Numbers are issued by Customs to identify traders throughout the EU, and are required in the new import and export documents. EORI numbers are already used for trading with other international countries, and from the 1st of January 2021 they will be an essential legal requirement for import and export to and from the UK.

Other important Brexit paperwork can include eAD (EMCS) and Export Declaration and Transit documents. Ensure you clarify your specific requirements thoroughly with an external customs advisor such as our in-house customs team here at Hillebrand, if in any doubt. For a more detailed Brexit regulation change overview, please refer to our import and export checklist below, as well as the Government’s official page for the new import licenses. Further essential reading to prepare for importing or exporting to and from the UK can be found by following those respective links.

Hillebrand handles over 16,000 cargo entries into the UK every single month, and our customs team already manages a quarter of a million clearances per year. We’re one of the most experienced UK customs handlers in the world, operating at all major UK ports in close ties with port operators, HMRC and Border Force. As we are a registered HMRC trusted trader, our cargo skips the long checking process in the ports and normally clears within the hour. Our global IT platform also means all customer cargo and customs information is conveniently and securely stored in a single database. We’re here to help you sail as smoothly as possible through Brexit!

Overview of the probable customs documentation required:

Overview of the probable customs documentation required for export: These documents will need to be provided by the exporter and any associated warehouses



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