Ready for Brexit? This is what you must know

23. November

Time goes by, the clock is ticking and we cannot avoid the fact that Britain's withdrawal from the EU and the European Customs Union is fast approaching.

It is not yet clear whether a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK will be entered. There is a chance, but it is the most ambitious trade agreement ever and we have to hold our breath a little longer and hope that an agreement will be attained in due time. A trade agreement will immediately entail 0 % tariff and no quotas!

Deal or no deal – What do we already know?

  • Customs paperwork must be completed upon import or export
  • Goods shipped from the UK or the EU on the 31st of December 2020 or earlier, arriving in 2021 will be handled as EU goods, even though they are delivered to an EU or UK customer after.
  • Import VAT will not be liable for UK VAT registered businesses, such as the import VAT payable is calculated and defrayed on the very same VAT return.
  • As a main rule, no tax representative is required, e.g. for the UK VAT registration. There may be exceptions, especially if your business is in arrears with tax payments.
  • Remember that an import and export registration is required when you want to ship goods to/from the UK, this in addition to an EORI-number and e.g. a VAT registration.

Transitional arrangement

For the import of goods into the UK, a simplified customs clearance system will apply for the period from the 1st of January 2021 to the 30th of June 2021. The procedure does not concern goods levied with excise duties nor goods under the suspension procedure, e.g. dual-use goods. In this case, customs duty documents should be filled in from the 1st of January 2021. However, we do not recommend that you postpone the customs clearance, such as the information required for the clearance must be available for authorities anyway and you will possibly be required to adjust your VAT later on. 

Please note that the transitional regime does not apply to UK exports of goods to the EU. It means that you need to submit the customs clearance upon exporting in every case.

Special cases and exceptions

There will always be exceptions – e.g.  special requirements will apply for deliveries/shipments through Kent and shipments to/from Northern Ireland.

The negotiations are ongoing and no one knows the outcome – we hope for a free trade agreement, meaning no tariffs  but we still need to hold our breath a bit longer and our best advice is for you to prepare your business for the no deal scenario. Accordingly, if you want to find information about possible tariffs levied on goods imported in to the UK after 1st of January 2021, please have a look at

Do you have any questions about Brexit?

We are ready to help you and you are more than welcome to give us call at + 45 74 30 23 60 or send us an email to We are ready to help.

Prepare your business for BREXIT – get your checklist here: