On 24 December 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union reached a post-Brexit trade agreement. But the deal doesn’t mean ‘business as usual’ for shipping between the UK and the EU.
Tariffs, such as import duty, will be eliminated on the trade of products shipped between the UK and the EU from 1 January 2021, depending on the origin of the goods. However, even with this deal in place, businesses and carriers will now face more paperwork and administration when shipping, meaning increased costs and adjustments to supply chains.
Customs clearance will now be required for all goods moving between the UK and the EU, including for return shipments. You will need to declare the goods you are sending by completing a commercial invoice. You will also need to follow the revised VAT rules.
This page will guide you through Brexit and help you on your journey towards a new trading landscape.
Start with the following basic steps to keep your goods moving as smoothly as possible.
Download our handy guides to shipping from the UK to the EU and shipping from the EU to the UK to find out more about what the Brexit deal means and what you need to do – including a useful checklist.
Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of EU rules. Goods shipped between the EU to Northern Ireland will move as an intra-Union movement. This means there will be no customs supervision, controls or formalities.
To benefit from preferential tariffs, the products you are shipping must originate in the UK or the EU. You will need to include proof of origin of goods with the commercial invoice or other commercial documentation (excluding a bill of lading). You can self-declare the origin of goods for the first year.
Agri-food consignments will require health certificates and undergo sanitary and phytosanitary controls at border inspection posts. Therefore, in order to avoid disruption at the land border, some restricted commodities can only be shipped using UPS Express services. They will still be inspected, but at other locations. It is your responsibility as the shipper to check the regulations and whether your goods will require inspection.