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Brexit and customs processes

The UK Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020. New rules apply from 1 January 2021. This page brings together guidance and news from ICAEW, as well as externally-produced resources that provide practical information on navigating the new customs processes and procedures for international trade.

Need to know

Latest news and insights

Duty-free limits are back for summer 2021

Since 1 January 2021 when the UK left the EU, the benefit of a “booze cruise” has been severely limited. It is no longer possible to simply load up wine purchased from your favourite French vineyard, or indeed a superstore in Calais, and return to the UK without a few extra considerations.

Guides and FAQs

VAT post Brexit

FAQ on how VAT rules have changed for British companies selling UK stock globally, now that the United Kingdom has left the European Union.

UK VAT implications of Brexit

In the event that the UK reaches no agreement after the end of the transition period, the UK Government has indicated that there will be a number of changes to the VAT rules, which we summarise. Join ICAEW's Tax Faculty for more guidance and Know-How content.

Brexit grants for customs declarations

Once the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, businesses will need to complete customs declarations for goods crossing the UK border (except goods moving between Northern Ireland and Ireland). Funding to help with completing the customs declarations has been made available by HMRC.

Webinars

An exporters guide to Brexit

This webinar, in partnership with MHA MacInytre Hudson, explores export supply chain scenarios and highlights areas that UK businesses must consider as part of their Brexit planning to avoid unnecessary delays or compliance failures. It covers INCOTERMS for reviewing contracts, options for minimising customs duties, and labelling requirements.

The trading landscape after Brexit - the customs perspective

The departure of the UK from the EU in March 2019 is a once in a generation change of profound significance. In July 2018, ICAEW and Chartered Accountants Ireland teamed up to publish a guide to Brexit designed to help our members advising UK and Irish businesses how to navigate this seminal change.

External resources

The Border Operating Model

Policy paper, case studies, and other guides on how the UK's border with the EU will work for importing and exporting goods after 1 January 2021. The guidance for traders and hauliers has been updated to reflect the revised timetable for the introduction of the next stage of UK import requirements, as well as including additional detail on policies and processes.

Trading with the EU and Northern Ireland – SME toolkit

Bite-sized summaries explaining the actions and decisions that SMEs need to take when importing and exporting, providing services in the EU, travelling for business, trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland, hiring EU citizens, and protecting data and IP. Includes a useful glossary of terms you need to know and helpline numbers.

Keep your business moving: Video explainers on new rules for doing business with EU

Suite of on-demand short videos from UK government for businesses on importing, exporting, rules of origin, tariffs, providing services to EU markets, Northern Ireland, data handling, hiring staff, and selling goods. Sector-specific videos also cover chemicals regulations, IP, emissions, waste, and Horizon funding.

What are customs import declarations?

HMRC webinar explaining how to make import declarations to import goods between the EU and Great Britain, including simplified and supplementary declarations, as well as the key terminology and new processes.