Can I still import from the EU? A summary of the new rules

With Brexit now having taken place, the UK is no longer part of the European Union (EU) or the European Single Market. This may have an impact on your ability to import from the EU.

In the pre-Brexit world, importing goods from other member states was a fairly simple process, with trade over EU borders made easier for all members. But with the UK now outside the EU, importing from a European country becomes a far less straightforward process.

So, can you still import from the EU?

The key areas to check when importing

Yes, you can still import goods from an EU country. But the procedures, rules and guidelines for doing so will now be more time-consuming and (ultimately) more costly.

According to the latest government advice, these are the key steps for any business planning to import goods from an EU member state:

  • Step 1. Check if you need to follow the export process – this will depend on whether you’re importing goods to the UK from a European country.
  • Step 2. Get your business ready to import – including getting an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) and checking the business sending you the goods can export to the UK
  • Step 3. Decide who will make customs declarations and transport the goods
  • Step 4. Find out the commodity code for your goods – and work out the value of your goods
  • Step 5. Find out if you can delay or reduce your duty payment
  • Step 6. Check if you need a licence or certificate for your goods
  • Step 7. Check the labelling, marking and marketing rules
  • Step 8. Get your goods through customs
  • Step 9. Claim a VAT refund
  • Step 10. Check whether you paid the wrong amount of duty or the goods were rejected
  • Step 11. Keep invoices and records
  • You can read more detailed advice on each of these steps on the HMRC website here.

Note: There may also be specific sector implications to consider too.

Talk to us about importing from the EU

Importing goods from the EU is likely to be more complex and time consuming now that the UK is outside of the EU. However, with the right planning, preparation and awareness of the new import rules, you can still successfully import goods into the UK from an EU country.

If you need additional advice around the implications of importing your goods, please do get in touch. We can advise you on the key customs, VAT and export requirements and link you up with customs, shipping and export specialists who can give you deeper insights into the potential challenges you may face.

Get in touch to discuss your export issues.

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