BREXIT Guidance 2020 – NOT VALID now

The UK left the EU fully on the 31st December at 2300hrs with a trade deal. The information below is just for information. Please see our customs clearance pages for more information now.
EORI numbers

If you only traded with the EU before BREXIT then you would you are not required normally to do any customs declarations. In the event of a no deal Brexit then all EU trade will require a customs declaration.

If you are already VAT registered then you will be auto-enrolled and will have your EORI number already. This is normally your VAT number plus 3 additional zeros on the end. If you have group VAT number this made be different and you will have to check with HM Customs.

Non VAT registered organisations do not automatically get an EORI number. If you are one of these then you need to apply on the HM Customs Website to get an EORI number. You should do this at least a 10 days before you will need it. Remember you cannot clear any goods without it and if goods are held at the port of entry you may incur large storage/detention fees.

Commodity Codes

All goods have a commodity code attached to them. These shows if the goods have duty applied to them, if VAT is applicable and if an export or import licence is need. If you are exporting goods this is an 8 digit code and for imports this is a 10 digit code. You can find the commodity on the HM Customs website. However it is not always possible to work out the exact code due to the wording used. If you need assistance we offer a service to locate the best code for your goods. HM Customs will give any organisation an official binding commodity code it you contact them and give the a full description of your product.

It is important to check if the commodity code has any licence restrictions on it. Licence restrictions may only apply to a product when it is exported or when it is imported.


Organisations need to be aware that the terms they trade under will effect what customs declarations the will need to make.

For imports purchasing under the term of ex-works will mean that you are now responsible for handle the customs clearance in the EU state as well as the UK. If you are an export supplier under the terms DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) then you again will become responsible for handling the customs declaration in the EU state. This means you will have to check to see how the commodity code impacts on the duty paid and you will either have to train you customs department to handle that EU state regulations or appoint an agent on your behalf.

It is important to note the if you are supplying or purchasing on an FOB basis that the shipper/consignee is aware of that they will have to now make customs clearance declarations and have to be prepared to do so.

Additional Notes

Organisations which export into the EU under a Long Term Supplier Declaration (LTSD) need to be away if it is still possible to fulfil the LTSD and if not what action can be taken to migrate this issue.

An organisation who current exports to a country which the EU has a Free Trade Agreement and this is done under preference documents such as EUR1 or invoice declarations then the consignee will need to check the impact of duty on these goods in the receiving country if they no longer can be issued.


Please note the information given on any of these pages relating to BREXIT are for guidance only. They are based on the information current at the time of publishing.