UK Trade with EU – HMRC issues guidance

Mike Purcell
Accountant and software consultant

The government wrote to all UK-based VAT-registered companies yesterday to discuss preparations to trade with the EU after Brexit.

From January 1, 2021, Great Britain will operate a full external border with the EU. This means that controls will be carried out on the movement of goods between the UK and the EU from the beginning of next year, including the need to make declarations for "controlled" goods (such as alcohol or tobacco products).

What do you have to do:

1. Make sure you have an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number. You can get one here:

2. Decide who will do the customs for you. This can be a freight forwarder, a customs broker or a fast parcel operator.

3. Check whether your imported goods are eligible for tiered controls so that you can postpone import declarations for up to 6 months. Further information can be found at:

4th Decide how to account for import sales tax and see if it is due at the border.

5. Check the list of controlled goods to see if you need to fill out the declarations from January 1, 2021. If your goods are not on the list, you can postpone the import declarations until July 2021. You can find the list here:

6th Check the government's tariff plan – the UK Global Tariff. To see what duties might apply to your goods go to:

7th Register with the Trader Support Service (TSS) when moving goods between the UK and Northern Ireland or bringing goods to Northern Ireland from outside the UK. To register your interest, click here:

What about "uncontrolled" goods?

Import processes for “uncontrolled” goods are introduced in three steps: January, April and July.

For more informations

Further information and instructions on how to prepare your company for Brexit can be found here. Or contact the Oldfield team on 024 7667 3160 or send an email to

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