Even if the European Union and the United Kingdom conclude a highly ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed in the Political Declaration by the end of 2020, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU acquis, the internal market and the Customs Union, at the end of the transition period will inevitably create barriers to trade and cross-border exchanges that do not exist today.

Some of the main changes in order to with goods from the UE are:

As of 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the EU Customs Union. Therefore, customs formalities required under Union law will apply to all goods entering the customs territory of the Union from the United Kingdom, or leaving that customs territory to the United Kingdom.

This will happen even if an ambitious free trade area is established with the United Kingdom, providing for zero tariffs and zero quotas on goods, with customs and regulatory cooperation.

On the EU side, customs authorities will carry out controls on the basis of the Union Customs Code, according to the common risk-based system applied to any other external border of the Union with regard to the movement of goods in relations to third countries. These controls are likely to lead to increased administrative burdens for businesses and longer delivery times in logistical supply chains.

As of 1 January 2021, EU businesses wishing to import from or export to the United Kingdom will need to ensure they have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number 11 in order to go through customs formalities. In addition, EORI numbers issued by the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the Union. Businesses based in the United Kingdom wishing to import into the Union will need to receive an EU EORI number, or appoint a Union customs representative where applicable.

Furthermore, as of 1 January 2021, Authorised Economic Operators authorisations or other authorisations issued by the United Kingdom will cease to be valid in the Union. Where the economic operators wish to obtain EU authorisations, they need to apply for them in an EU Member State.

In order to be ready and avoid further problems, we strongly recommend visiting https://www.gov.uk/prepare-to-import-to-great-britain-from-january-2021 and check that your company is ready for facing the BREXIT new conditions of trading.

Also, at GLE we are at your disposal for any further information needed and happy to assist with any question or doubt.