Be prepared for Brexit

On January 31, 2020, the UK officially left the European Union. The transition period will last until December 31, 2020, and during that time the UK and EU will negotiate the terms of future trade relations.

It's important to note that, during this period, you can still ship the way you always have. While it’s not clear yet how shipping to and from the UK will change after December 31, 2020, there are a few key points to keep in mind and actions you may need to take when the agreement has been reached.

Apply for an EORI number

An EORI number is a unique identification number used by customs authorities to track shipments entering or leaving the European Union from non-EU countries. After Brexit, Britain became a non-EU country, so shipments to and from the UK will need an EORI number. To be prepared you can apply for one already through your country’s government website.

What’s an EORI number? Watch the video below or visit the EORI number page.

Remember to fill in a commercial invoice

The most important documents you need are the commercial invoice and air waybill. If you’re sending regulated goods, such as alcohol, electronics or medical devices, then you and your receiver might need to provide extra documents.

It’s highly likely that all shipments to or from the UK will need a commercial invoice. This document is one of the most important things you need when shipping to and from the EU. It provides key information, such as the HS code, for customs to clear your goods – so take care to fill it in correctly.

How do I fill in a commercial invoice? Watch the video below or visit the commercial invoice page.

Declare the correct value of your goods

Customs authorities use the goods value written on the commercial invoice to clear your shipment and determine duties and taxes. That’s why it’s important to state an accurate value clearly on your paperwork and ensure that it’s correct. Now that the UK officially left the EU, you’ll probably have to start declaring this value.

How do I declare an accurate value? Watch the video below or visit the page on how to declare the value your goods.

Be aware of duties and taxes

It's also plausible, that with the UK leaving the EU, goods will no longer be in free circulation and customs authorities will begin collecting duties and taxes. To get ready for this, it’s a good idea to learn the difference between duties and taxes, what they’re based on and how they’re calculated.

How are duties and taxes calculated? Watch the video below or visit the duties and taxes page.

Any questions? Take a look at our Brexit Toolkit or send an email to or for shipping advice.

Shipping requirements and documentation may vary between carriers. This website is designed to provide general information related to shipping. If you’re unsure of the shipping requirements that apply to you, check with your carrier. Make sure to check the rules and regulations of the country you’re shipping from and to prior to shipping. You can find this information on government websites.

Relevant topics