Home Business Insights & Advice Five tips for shipping to Europe post Brexit

Five tips for shipping to Europe post Brexit

by John Saunders
23rd Apr 21 12:42 pm

The UK government said that it will take a phased approach to managing inbound deliveries from Europe. Because Brexit meant leaving the Customs Union as well as the European Union, checks are required at the border to ensure the proper declarations are in place for all commercial goods. Effectively, the UK has put off doing these checks but it will gradually start to phase them in from July. Of course, this will only make a difference to UK importers.

However, such checks at the border are already being conducted at EU ports on British goods that are heading overseas. As such, there are plenty of things for UK exporters to learn. What are some of the best tips you can follow to ensure your shipments to Europe get to their intended destinations without a hitch?

Get an EORI number

Any UK-based business that wishes to ship items to customers in the EU will need to obtain an identification code so that all the customs checks can be conducted with a universally recognised number. This is called an Economic Operator’s Registration and Identification number (EORI). The idea is that a unique identification coding means that exporters can be monitored much more easily for all of their goods moving between the UK and the EU. Bear in mind that an EORI is handy if you import as well as export because the same number will be used. In the UK, EORI numbers all begin with GB, making them easy to spot.

Consider tariff coding

Unless you are a general exporter, your business probably sells just one or two classes of commodities. Find out the correct tariff codes for these goods. Although there are no tariff differentials between the UK and the EU at the moment, declaring the right coding on your paperwork will help to speed up checks. It will also come in handy if they are introduced down the line. You already need them for other trading partners you might have around the world where tariffs already apply, anyway.

Create a commercial invoice

Generating a commercial invoice is not much harder than writing a normal one. There are extra details you will need to add. Send your shipment with this paperwork on clear display since it will describe the items in the package and determine whether or not customs duties need to be paid. Your buyer will thank you for doing this or they’ll often end up having to sort it out on arrival if one is not included.

Understand safety and security declarations

Exports to the EU need safety and security declarations to be made, otherwise known as SSDs. Exporters must make an exit summary declaration if they are taking their items overseas themselves. So far as the EU is concerned, it is the carrier of the goods who is responsible for this bit of paperwork, not the sender, however. That’s why using an experienced haulier which handles freight shipments from the UK to the EU every day can be so beneficial, of course.

Get your VAT Status up-to-date

Managing VAT correctly is always advisable. Ensuring its status is updated for your firm makes sense even if you don’t export to the EU. However, companies with VAT statuses that are out of date will find their customs processing takes forever and their exports might even be impounded if they are lagging behind. If your firm turns over more than £85,000 in a financial year, it must be VAT-registered, even if you are a sole trader.

For more information contact Barrington Freight today.

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