Brexit 2021 traders update: what the new UK-EU trade deal means for you
A new year has dawned, and as of January 1st 2021 the Brexit transition period is officially at an end. The UK has left the EU customs union, and from here on out new 2021 post-Brexit trade rules are in full effect. An important and game-changing free trade agreement (FTA), also known as the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was brokered on Christmas Eve 2020, and this TCA will impact European and UK logistics customers in several crucial ways.
As the full TCA document is over 1,200 pages long, we’ll sum up the most relevant updated Brexit rules for UK and EU traders below, with links to in-depth resources throughout the article as well as listed at the bottom of this page.
The new Brexit trade agreement : 4 key additions
Introducing the 'Northern Ireland Protocol'
Although a part of the UK, Northern Ireland nonetheless begins implementing new border formalities with Great Britain in order to keep an open land border with the Irish Republic, an EU member. Northern Ireland remains aligned to the EU Single Market for goods and will follow EU customs rules, although it leaves the Customs Union along with the rest of the UK.
This new Northern Ireland protocol also applies to goods being routed through Northern Ireland with their final destination elsewhere. The following paperwork and declarations are mandatory for customs procedures between the distinct regions:
There is a useful free Trader Support Service from the UK government that will help clear up any confusion or doubts about the Northern Ireland Protocol. This portal also allows traders to directly access the customs system. The Hillebrand customs team can also guide you through the required paperwork if you are trading between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, simply get in touch with our experts.
Embarking Upon a New Era of Trade
The start of post-Brexit trading will certainly not be smooth sailing, but we at Hillebrand are here to navigate you through. We deal with over 16,000 cargo entries into the UK every month, and our customs team already manages a quarter of a million clearances per year. We are a registered HMRC trusted trader at all major UK ports, and one of the most experienced UK customs handlers in the world. If you have doubts or questions about post-Brexit trading to or from the UK in 2021, please contact our experts.
Useful Links: Trading Post-Brexit
All sources link to continuously updated pages on the UK Government’s website.
The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods
Trade Tariffs: look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates
Marking, labelling and marketing standards for imports and exports
Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021
UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (FULL PDF)