No-deal Brexit? No problem

The UK border after the UK-EU transition period

The logistics industry continues to be left in limbo as it awaits clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The ramifications of Brexit, whether soft or hard are yet to be fully understood.

Recent research by IMHX has found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of logistics and supply chain managers predict the general public will panic buy and stockpile goods ahead of Brexit1. While stockpiling may work for the general public, not all businesses have that luxury. To help businesses prepare for Brexit, whatever the outcome (or date), Rhenus Logistics has outlined key actions for importers and exporters. Before I delve in, it is important to note that while Brexit is set to impose a greater burden of administration and paperwork, there is nothing on the list that is overly challenging and much of this work can be done in advance of leaving the EU.

Registrations and Sign-ups

To start, we advise all shippers to do the below:

  • Register for an EORI number: an Economic Operator Registration and Identification or EORI number will be required when trading between the UK and the EU, enabling export and import declarations and clearances to be processed in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • Sign up for TSP: short for Transitional Simplified Procedure, TSP is a self-declaration process which allows UK importers to receive their shipment without the need for a separate frontier declaration.
  • Appoint a reputable customs broker: many major logistics companies, including Rhenus, offer this service, either directly or indirectly.
  • Determine the value of goods: this is necessary for trade statistics and VAT/ duty declarations. There are six methods which should be applied consecutively until the correct valuation is reached.
  • Determine the origin of goods: this is key to determining the levels of duty applicable to goods being transported.

Once these key points are dealt with, shippers should familiarise themselves with the Incoterms, whose relevance will increase substantially in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. These set out the responsibilities of buyers and sellers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts.

Next on the list is the provision to the carrier of detailed descriptions of goods, as well as classification of goods, including the use of the correct customs commodity code, also known as a tariff heading. Commercial invoices, licences and certificates should also be supplied, as should details of customs clearance. Finally, setting up a deferment account will help with cash flow and facilitate the rapid clearance of shipments by ensuring customs duties are paid in full at the time of import.

Partner with a reputable logistics operator

A reputable logistics partner will be able to help and advise on the areas mentioned and more, ensuring the correct permissions and clearances are in place to create a smooth transition to the post-Brexit trading environment, with minimal interruption to shipments. Myself and the rest of the Rhenus Logistics team advises any importers or exporters who have questions or concerns in any of these areas to get in touch with us straight away.

To read more on Rhenus’ Brexit preparations and advice, please visit:


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