New customs processes are now in place when importing and exporting goods between the UK and the EU.
Mandatory EORI Number
An EORI number is an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number, this is now required in order to export, import and release goods from Customs.
VAT-registered businesses were automatically issued with an EORI number in September 2019. Businesses without an EORI can apply for free at www.gov.uk/eori
As a priority, please email us with your EORI number so we can add it to our records. Please also include it on Commercial Invoices and all bookings to promote smooth customs processing and clearance.
Completing Commercial / Proforma Invoice
It is imperative that you provide a completed commercial / proforma invoice for all dutiable shipments going to the EU. It must have the following information to ensure smooth movement through Customs.
- Exporter’s EORI number
- Consignee’s EORI number Including this will facilitate the prompt clearance of your shipments. This is proving critical for Business to Business shipments.
- Consignee’s telephone number
- Consignee’s email address
- HS Codes (If not known can be searched on https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/a-z-index/a or a Google search will give a result on most occasions).
- Country of origin (This is grey area and we would urge you as the exporter to refer to the following government link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-of-origin-for-goods-moving-between-the-uk-and-eu)
- Goods Description needs to be on both Waybill and the Commercial invoice / Pro-Forma Invoice. This needs to list each item by line, starting with the most valuable.
- Value. It is also imperative that the goods are valued correctly.
It is legally required to use the following text for the origin statement on the Commercial or Pro-forma invoice:
“The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter Reference No ... (1) ) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of ... (2) preferential origin.”
(Place and Date)
(Name of the exporter)
(1) UK-EU shipments: the origin statement on the invoice can be made out by any exporter who has a GB EORI number. The GB EORI number must be included within the origin statement regardless of the value of the shipment. For EU-UK shipments: the origin statement on the invoice can be made out by any exporter where the value of the consignment is 6,000 EUR (currently £5,700) or less. Above this amount the EU exporter must have a Registered Exporter (REX) number and include it in the statement.
(2) Indicate the origin of the product – For example; The United Kingdom (UK), The Union (EU) or “Another Country” (?)
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement allows for a zero tariff to be applied to goods entering the EU from the UK (and vice versa), only when they meet the rules of origin requirements and the Proof of Origin statement is clearly stated on the Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoice. Please be aware there are country-specific requirements which will be additional to the invoice example.
Standard commercial or pro-forma invoices can be generated automatically from our online booking portal when printing your docket or you can download our template:
From 1 January 2021, a fee will be levied on all dutiable shipments between the UK and European Union countries, both inbound and outbound. With the information that is currently available, the intention is that this fee will be set at £0.25 per kg with a minimum charged amount of £4.50 per shipment. This fee may be adjusted, should circumstances change significantly.
This fee will be introduced regardless of any trade deal agreed by the UK and EU, as the following will still apply:
- Customs requirements for all shipments between the UK & EU. This results in an increase in the number of declarations, licenses, data submissions, overall processing, plus new IT systems
- Border formalities will be introduced that must be complied with, i.e. the new ‘Border Ready’ requirements in Kent
- Increased regulatory requirements restricting commodities into Europe
- Increased Bond storage facilities and associated security
The fee is applied per kg as heavier shipments, in general have more complex customs requirements.
Changes to VAT
From 1 January 2021, UK VAT on goods valued up to £135 will be collected at the point of sale, and not the point of import. This means that overseas businesses selling goods to be imported into the UK, valued between £0-135, will be required to charge and collect any VAT due at the time of sale. They must be registered for UK VAT and pay VAT using a UK VAT return. VAT registered UK importers can still choose to account for the VAT by providing their VAT registration to the supplier. For details see the ‘Business to business sales’ section here. Alongside this, Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) will be abolished, meaning VAT will be due at the time of sale on all imported goods valued £0 - £135.* More information is available here.
From 1 July 2021, VAT will be due on all non-document shipments from the UK to the EU.
What is the EU VAT De Minimis Removal?
The changes will impact both B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business) businesses:
- All goods imported to the EU will be subject to VAT. The current VAT exemption for importation of goods up to €22 will be removed.
- All shipments imported to the EU will require a formal Customs Declaration. To ensure successful clearance of shipments with Customs Authorities, it is essential that you provide a complete and accurate Commercial/Pro Forma Invoice.
Please note that most shipments valued under €150 are not subject to Customs duties on arrival in the EU. This is separate to VAT and will continue to apply post 1 July 2021.
What is the optional Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) for B2C shipments?
As a result of the EU VAT De Minimis Removal, all goods imported to the EU will be subject to VAT, with different VAT collection possibilities available.
IOSS is a new and optional VAT collection model which will facilitate the declaration, payment and collection of VAT for B2C shipments under €150. It will enable customers to avoid a customs bill and additional administration.
Using IOSS, VAT for B2C shipments will be collected by your business at the moment of purchase and paid to EU Tax Authorities via a periodic VAT return. You can register your business on the IOSS portal of any EU Member State. If your business is not established within the EU, you will first need to assign a tax representative to administer EU VAT compliance on your business' behalf. You can simply search the internet for “IOSS Tax Representative in……” whatever one of the member states you choose.
Please note that the options currently available for VAT payment for both B2B and B2C shipments will continue. IOSS is an additional option for B2C shipments.
More information from the EU regarding IOSS can be found by clicking on this link https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/ioss_en
Once you have assigned a tax representative to administer EU VAT compliance on your business' behalf you can register for IOSS in a member state of your choice: -
Find out the VAT rate of the destination country in the EU
- Update your VAT accounting systems to identify and apply the appropriate VAT rates in the EU
Consider registering for the IOSS platform for B2C shipments up to €150
- Appoint an intermediary to handle tax compliance on your behalf in the EU
- Ensure your IOSS number is included in the shipping documentation. Please note that you can only use online system invoices for IOSS consignments.
- If you do not register for IOSS, consider the Free Domicile billing option where the import fees are billed back to you instead of being billed to the consignee
- If the VAT, duty & taxes are to be billed to the receiver, inform the consignee about potential import fees
Review your agreement with online marketplaces
- Clarify that they will handle VAT for B2C shipments up to €150
There will be no VAT charges for shipments being exported from the UK to the EU.
VAT / Disbursements / Customs Duties
- Shipments with a value up to 150.00 EUROS, VAT and disbursements will be applicable. VAT is reclaimable if the receiving company is registered and the origin of the shipment is from the UK.
- Shipments less than a value of 150.00 EUROS will not be charged customs duties. (Regardless of origin)
- Shipments with a value over 150 EUROS with a UK or EU origin will be subject to VAT and disbursements
- Shipments with a value over 150 EUROS without a UK or EU origin will be subject to VAT, duties and disbursements
- DDP terms (where we pay any VAT and duties on your behalf, for a small admin fee) can be arranged, which should speed up the customs process; however the EU VAT cannot be claimed back in the UK.
- Please see the EU VAT & Disbursement fee listings (PDF Download).
Imports from the EU
For the collections from the EU, we still require the EORI number for the exporter or NI or Tax ID if it’s a private individual.
Ways you will be affected
Customs: We anticipate an increase in customs entries.
Operations: Duty & VAT collection is likely to be required for dutiable EU shipments.
Transit times: We expect to have less control over delays to our road-based services, if there are delays at the ports. This will result in an increase in transit times. Therefore customers may wish to consider moving road shipments to air courier, air freight, next flight out or on board couriers services in order to achieve deadlines (where compatible). Please contact our Customer Services Team for advice.
The Team Global Team