Brexit: Shipping FAQ – what you should know about it

After the European Commission was able to reach an agreement with the United Kingdom on a trade deal on 24 December 2020, the new year begins with a rather soft exit of the United Kingdom from the EU. What this means for your shipping and how to avoid long delivery times can be found in our Brexit shipping FAQ. Of course, there may be some adjustments as we move forward, we’ll be happy to keep you updated.

Our Customer Service is also well prepared and happy to answer your questions.

Find the common questions in our LetMeShip Brexit shipping FAQ for your business with the UK

What changes are there for goods shipments to the UK from now on?

After the exit of the United Kingdom (UK), customs declarations are required for imports and exports. You should also be aware of the following

  • When you export to the UK or import to the EU, you need to plan with customs formalities. It is important to complete customs declarations correctly, which will be required from 01.01.2021 when trading between the UK and the EU
  • There may be longer delivery times as well as additional costs due to customs processing
  • There may be additional controls for certain goods (animal and plant products).

Will it be more expensive to ship goods to the UK?

This depends on the shipping company, but will be realistic due to additional operating costs.
DHL Express, for example, is announcing a special surcharge for dutiable shipments between the UK and the European Union from 1 January 2021 due to significant additional operating costs incurred by the company. This is expected to be €0.25 per kg, according to the company.

Will shipping to the UK take exactly the same time as before?

The shipping service providers strive to hand over deliveries to the recipient as quickly as possible. However, delays may occur due to customs clearance. There are shipping service providers who, for example, switch from trucks to planes to ensure on-time delivery.

Why do I need an EORI number and where do I get it?

THE EORI number (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification) is a European Union requirement for companies importing or exporting goods to and from the EU. If you have traded outside the EU you will already have an EORI number, if you have only traded within the EU you will need to register now LINK Get an EORI number – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Do I have to expect customs formalities?

Yes, despite the concluded trade agreement, every shipment needs a commercial invoice with information for the customs authorities. This helps the authorities to assess whether the goods can be imported or exported to a country and what controls, if any, are required. It is essential to provide an invoice with the correct information as it reduces the potential for delays.

How do I ship goods correctly now?

CHECKLIST for you correct shipping after Brexit

  • Make sure you have registered your business with customs and apply for an EORI number
  • Find out how to describe and classify your goods
  • Find out how to complete commercial invoices
  • Submit your commercial invoice electronically if possible
  • Understand customs and clearance requirements
  • Make sure your customers/importers are aware of possible changes
  • Due to the current situation, we also recommend that you explore the option of express shipping to avoid land transport and potentially long delivery times

Good to know

Further information on the above-mentioned Brexit shipping FAQ can also be found here

The European Union provides a general “Brexit readiness checklist for companies doing business with the UK” covering a wide range of implications for traders from the EU to the UK.

The UK government has also published a handbook for hauliers and commercial drivers transporting goods between the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) and the European Union: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transporting-goods-between-great-britain-and-the-eu-from-1-january-2021-guidance-for-hauliers

Further information

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