Prepare to import goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021
The process for importing goods from the EU will change. Businesses in Great Britain need to complete the following actions to continue importing from EU countries from 1 January 2021.
(Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. Guidance on moving goods into, out of and through Northern Ireland will be added later on).
1. Find out how to declare goods from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU. These rules currently apply to importing goods from the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
You can make the declaration yourself or hire someone else such as a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.
2. Check the new rules for your type of goods
From 1 January 2021, the rules for importing some types of goods will change.
- Check what import licences or certificates you need
- Check the labelling and marketing standards for food, plant seeds and manufactured goods
- Check the rules for importing alcohol, tobacco and certain oils
3. Make sure you have an EORI number that starts with GB
You need an EORI number that starts with GB to import goods from 1 January 2021.
4. Check the rate of tax and duty you'll need to pay
You need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.
5. Check if you can make the importing process quicker
From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU.
In some situations, you can delay making a declaration for up to 6 months after you imported the goods.
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