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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.

Government guidance on Brexit

The UK government and the European Commission (EC) have published guidance to help citizens and businesses understand the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU. This overview, part of ICAEW's Know-How series, helps you navigate through this guidance. Government guidance is expected to continue to evolve.


An Exporter's Guide to Brexit

This webinar, in partnership with MHA, delivers insights into various types of 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.

External resources

Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) guide

Guide for hauliers, carriers and intermediaries which brings together the key aspects of using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service to move goods between Great Britain and the EU. This information supports the transition to new customs procedures from 1 January 2022.

Transporting goods to and from the EU

Simple guide which takes you through the stages involved in moving goods, covering: pre-journey documentation; documentation required when picking up goods; formalities at the EU and UK borders; and requirements after leaving the port.

Rules of origin for goods moving between the UK and EU

Detailed guidance on rules of origin requirements under the EU trade agreement. It explains the most important provisions which businesses need to understand and comply with, in order to ensure that they pay zero tariffs when trading with the EU.

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.