All you need to know

What is happening?

On January 31st 2020 the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. We are now in a transition period, which will last until December 31st 2020. In this transition period, the UK and the EU will negotiate a free trade deal. The time is short for the size of the agreement.

Prime Minister Johnson has already said that he will leave the EU no matter what. This means there is still a lot of uncertainty about how trade between the UK and the EU will be from January 2021 onwards.

A few things are certain:

  • The UK is no longer an EU member state.
  • The negotiations will be tough and the time is short
  • There will be certain filing or registration formalities for trade between the UK and the EU.

A transition period may prove to solve the most urgent worries, but at some point, the transition period should end with a final agreement entering into force.

As an importer/exporter, you should start preparing for this, even without knowing the exact post-Brexit requirements yet.

What can you do NOW to prepare?

Even though specific filing requirements are not published yet, you should make sure that any data which may be required is available. It is safe to assume that preparing for a ‘hard Brexit’ will prepare you best for any given scenario.

Some practical examples:

  • Make sure your ‘master data’ is correct and readily available within your company.
  • Have processes in place to efficiently share them with Customs Agents.
  • Have a full insight in all flows of goods from and to your company between the EU and the UK. Make projections, so you know the amount of work that is needed to complete these.
  • Make sure your legal documentation is in order (PoA, commercial contracts, etc.) so Customs Agents can clear your goods.

What can we do to help you?

Customs Support is a full-service Customs Agent with offices in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and a partner in the UK to provide filing services in all UK ports. Besides customs clearance activities, Customs Support Consultancy provides advisory services to clients across Europe.

Customs Support can assist with and advise on all customs related issues, but we can’t do that without you. Let’s go through the aforementioned examples to give you a clear picture:

    1. Master Data: it is essential that all data fields required for customs clearance are correct and available within the company. This means that basic information such as to value, weight, volume, insurance, and delivery conditions are kept in a structured database. A key element that needs to be captured is a product description and the HS code (Customs Code) data. Enriching a product database with correct HS code information is a time-consuming process that requires specialist knowledge. Don’t wait until December 31st with this. This can be done in advance. Customs Support Consulting provides ‘classification services’ to help companies establishing, enriching or updating the product database and be prepared for customs filings. You should make sure that data like the basic product information is correct.
    2. Efficient data sharing: The increase in customs activities following the Brexit will put enormous pressure on the customs authorities and the customs clearance industry. Manual input of customs filings will be a challenge. As all filings are made digitally, and most data will be available in WMS or ERP systems, agreeing on a digital transfer of data with your Customs Agent will expedite your flows. You should align this transfer with your Customs Agent. Customs Support is able to receive and process customs data in multiple formats. We can process .xls/.xml/.csv and many other format documents or connect through, for example, an EDI connection straight with your IT infrastructure. Establishing a process takes time, so it is important to develop, test and agree on these processes well ahead of December 31st. Customs Support can assist in this process.
    3. Projections: All filings are required to be checked and enriched/completed by a Customs Agent. Given the expected increase in filings post-Brexit, a shortage of specialist agents is expected. Reserving capacity at your customs agent is important to make sure that filings happen on a timely basis. This prevents shipments being detained by Customs in Europe or the UK. Make sure that you have an overview of expected volume on a monthly basis for at least 2020 and share this with us. On the basis of this information, procedures and IT connectors can be developed in a joint effort.
    4. Documentation: Customs Agents must obtain a power of attorney to provide customs clearance services. Every exporter/importer needs to process such a PoA. This is generally a time-consuming process, especially for freight forwarders and other entities with a large pool of clients.

You should make timely decisions on how you will approach the upcoming surge in documents and make sure all legal documentation is in order.

Customs Support can assist in preparing and gathering the proper documentation in a timely manner.

If you have any questions or issues concerning Brexit or any other customs-related matter, then please do not hesitate and contact us directly.

Want to stay up to date?

Check out our latest posts to stay up to date about all the news regarding Brexit.

Twijfel over doorgang Brexit overleg door Coronavirus

Het coronavirus heeft serieuze gevolgen voor bedrijven. Overheden nemen extreme maatregelen om de verdere verspreiding van het virus te voorkomen. In heel Italië gelden nu crisismaatregelen en gisteren heeft President Trump aangekondigd dat reizen naar Amerika vanuit Europa vanaf dit weekend niet meer mogelijk is. Ook in Nederland zijn nieuwe maatregelen aangekondigd. Zo moeten mensen
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Knives Sharpened Ahead of Trade Negotiations

Last week we updated you on the draft negotiation directives outlined by the European Commission. In these weeks running up to the negotiations both the United Kingdom and European Union representatives seem to be sharpening their knives… I Want to Break Free David Frost, the UK’s Chief Brexit Negotiator has set out his intentions for
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Europese Commissie publiceert plan van aanpak van Brexit-onderhandeling

De Europese Commissie heeft het plan van aanpak gepubliceerd op basis waarvan ze de op handen zijnde onderhandelingen tussen het Verenigd Koninkrijk en de Europese Unie willen doen. Er zullen veel zaken zijn waar men het niet met elkaar eens zal zijn en dat begint al met de tijdlijn. Boris Johnson heeft al heel duidelijk
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Today is the Day

Today is the day. Tonight at midnight Central European Time the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Brexit is a fact. Well, sort of. Not much will have changed for companies doing business with the United Kingdom, after today. The European Union gave its final approval to the Brexit deal with Boris Johnson on
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Goods Movement and the Ireland-UK Sea Border

As we wrote in the Brexit Update earlier this week, there is still a lot unclear about what businesses will face post-Brexit. What makes it even more difficult is the mixed messages we are getting from representatives of the European Union on one side and representatives of the United Kingdom on the other… Will There
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Brexit is Near. Negotiations to Start.

January 31st is getting closer. At 11:00 pm the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union. Will Big Ben chime in celebration of Brexit? It was wat Boris Johnson had hoped, but the bells are in repair and have no clappers. Putting them back to chime for Brexit could cost almost 6000.000 euros! However,
Lees verder

Brexit Update: UK Parliament Approves Brexit and Lines Drawn for Negotiations

Things are finally moving on the Brexit front. Negotiations have started and the House of Commons has officially voted in favor of the Brexit-deal Boris Johnson closed with the EU. The vote was rather the opposite of what Theresa May had to deal with last year. What’s the Deal With the Deal? Johnson’s plan is
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Parliament Passes Withdrawal Agreement

Another important day for Brexit last Friday. After winning the election, Boris Johnson finally got to present the withdrawal agreement he negotiated with the EU to the newly installed Parliament. This time around there were no big problems in getting the bill passed, as the majority of the parliament is made up of members of
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Major Win For Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is the big winner in yesterday’s election. Based on the latest counts he has won the absolute majority in Parliament with 360 out of 650 seats. Brexit Will Get Done “It is now the irrefutable, inarguable decision of the British people”, Johnson said to a rally earlier this morning. He also
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Election Day Tomorrow – The Latest on Brexit

Tomorrow is Election Day in the United Kingdom. A big day for citizens of the United Kingdom, but a big day for anybody trading with or in the UK as well. The outcome of tomorrow’s election may finally decide what will happen with the Brexit. What are the Options? Reuters has created a nice overview
Lees verder

Brexit Update: A Loss for Johnson Can Lead to Two Exit-Referenda

Until recently the upcoming general election in the United Kingdom wasn’t that exciting. Johnson was lumbering towards a win, and towards a Brexit too. Until recently, because the battle is heating up and Johnson’s main opponent, Jeremy Corbyn seems to be getting stronger by the day. The 100K Poll A very large poll was done
Lees verder

Brexit Update: Johnson Promises Brexit Vote Christmas Present

The Conservative Party has launched its manifesto for the General Election which will be held on December 12. At the launch event for the manifesto, Boris Johnson promised voters a new vote for his Brexit deal in Parliament. He repeated his promise to get Brexit done before the end of the latest deadline: January 31st.
Lees verder