A guide to help you to understand what you need to do to ensure compliance with the new 'standards' when exporting to or importing from Europe.
Please note fields marked with * are required.
Customs Clearance is now required for all goods moving between the EU and Great Britain, excluding Northern Ireland.
Therefore, you must now complete and declare a commercial invoice every time you send a shipment outside of the United Kingdom. Details on completing a commercial invoice can be found later in this document. It is likely that the carriers will be charging additional fees for the extra customs clearance work which are now required by law. These fees will be published by your local London East office once confirmed by the carriers. Return shipments across the border are permitted and a commercial invoice is required for these shipments as well.
You must state on either a commercial invoice or pro forma that the goods originate from the UK or the EU.
You are legally required to include the following on a commercial invoice:
"The exporter of the products covered by this document (REX or EORI Number) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of ....... preferential origin."
The Registered Exporter system (the REX system) is a system of certification of origin of goods based on a principle of self-certification. A REX number is only required when a shipment exceeds 6,000 EUR. The REX system simplifies export formalities by allowing the registered exporter to certify the preferential origin themself by including a specific declaration (so-called statements on origin) on the invoice or another commercial document identifying the exported products.
Thus, the registered exporter does not need to apply upon each export for issue of a certificate of origin. The application to become registered exporter is a one-off formality, where the exporter provides the competent customs office with the necessary information for being registered. Once the REX number is assigned to them, the registered exporter may use it for all their exports under preferential arrangements where the system of certification of origin applied is the REX system.
You are required to state on all commercial invoices either your EORI number or your NI number, dependant on the end location of your export. If you do not have an EORI number as yet then you will need to register for one, you should receive both a GB and XI EORI number in the post. You do not need to have a VAT number to apply for an EORI number Click here to register for a GB and XI EORI Number. If you already have a GB EORI number and need to register for an XI EORI number then please, click here.
Example GB EORI Number: GB012345678000 Example XI EORI Number: XI012345678000
Paperless Trade was introduced to reduce the amount of material travelling through the carrier networks and to improve transit efficiency. The London East Transport portal utilises and makes paperless trade easy. Simply upload your signature to our platform, create your invoice in the platform and choose the signature to apply. The rest is taken care of by our advanced API’s which will transmit your commercial invoice to all of the necessary channels for a smooth transit process.
Alternatively, you can upload your own invoices should you have another system which produces these for you. You will need to make sure that the invoices are signed before uploading them for transmission.
If no signature and name is recorded, then delays may be expected due to customs clearance. If you want to learn more about Paperless Trade or setting your signature in our system then please, contact our office.
Returning a shipment from the EU is very simple. If a declarable shipment is being returned from the EU to the UK, Customs paperwork must also accompany this return, in the same way as it would when a shipment is returned from a non-EU country. A Customs Invoice will be required for the return, along with reference to the original outbound shipment in order to avoid unnecessary delays or customs charges. Any shipments sent before the 1 January 2021, but returned subsequently, will still require customs paperwork.
The Northern Ireland Protocol agreement and subsequent guidance is published by the UK Government and is unchanged by the UK-EU TCA. It sets out:
From 1 January 2021 Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) will be introduced for imports valued at more than £135. PVA will allow registered UK businesses to declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT Return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it later. HMRC will provide digital statements detailing PVA transactions.
This benefits your business in a number of ways, including:
There is no additional charge to use PVA with London East Transport but if you wish to do so, you must provide confirmation to us – along with your VAT and EORI numbers.
From 1 January 2021, UK VAT on goods valued up to £135 will be collected at the point of sale, and not the point of import. This means that overseas businesses selling goods to be imported into the UK, valued between £0-135, will be required to charge and collect any VAT due at the time of sale.
They must be registered for UK VAT and pay VAT using a UK VAT return. VAT registered UK importers can still choose to account for the VAT by providing their VAT registration to the supplier.
Alongside this, Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) will be abolished, meaning VAT will be due at the time of sale on all imported goods valued £0 - £135.
The EU will be moving to a similar VAT collection model to that being introduced in the UK, however this will be effective from July 2021. When goods worth up to €150 are purchased from sellers outside the EU, VAT will be charged at the time of sale. The current €22 VAT threshold for importing goods into the EU will also be removed. This means VAT will be due on all non-document shipments from the UK to the EU.
Goods over the value of €22 require import taxes to be paid, in most cases. Duties required to be paid where the goods are not deemed by the customs teams in the country to be of UK origin.
Carriers are already seeing a large number of items being held up at customs, below are some of the most common reasons.
The carriers will be introducing a levied fee on any shipment sent after January 1st 2021. This fee was introduced after the United Kingdom left the single market and Customs Union, as the following apply:
As a general guide, Veterinary and Phytosanitary regulations will apply to animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant based products. Therefore, if sending these products to the EU, in order to ensure compliance with the Regulatory Authorities requirements, please follow the guidance below:
It is important to ensure you capture all the required data on your commercial invoice, before processing a shipment. Though not required, it is preferred that commercial invoices are on company headed paper.
Your commercial invoice should include:
If you have any questions about commercial invoices, please contact our office.