Brexit: consequences for export, import and transport

Brexit: consequences for export, import and transport 



When you export to, import from or transport through the UK, Brexit will demand you make the necessary changes in your management. In the case of a hard Brexit the WTO regulations will apply and trade with the United Kingdom is comparable to other non-EU countries. In the case of a soft Brexit, agreements will have been made to simplify trade. At the time of publishing this article (November 2020) it is not yet known what agreements (if any) are made, therefore we advise you to prepare for a hard Brexit. Read below how to.

Prepare for Brexit


**Please note: This article was written before Januari 1, 2021. For more recent information on the Brexit agreement that applies as of 2021, click here.**

Whether there will be a hard or soft Brexit, when you export goods to the UK, your workload will increase.



You will have to deal with the customs as of January 1, 2021. It is important to request or have a customs number (EORI-number) so you can export goods outside the EU. Additionally, you will also need to be able to declare your taxes digitally with customs, possibly request a Registration Electronic Message Traffic and check if you need any permits. This flowchart helps you to prepare for the changes concerning customs.With this form you can apply for a EORI-number.



VAT-tariff changes

You will need to make sure you are using the correct VAT-tariffs for goods. This tariff will be 0%, in principle as of January 1, 2021. You can use this Tax Authority tool (in Dutch) to check if this also applies to your products.



Your administration will also increase if you provide goods to the UK. Make sure you have the correct documentation (such as licences, custom documentation, delivery notes, invoices and import certificates) so you meet the legal requirements.


Other consequences

Because of the increase in red tape, take into account there will be longer waiting times at the border and check whether product requirements have changed because of Brexit. Get the necessary certificates at the NVWA (in Dutch), if applicable. Additionally, take into account that you may have to deal with new levies.


Although we have briefly touched on the most important changes, it is advisable to inform yourself about the consequences for your business. Read more about export to the UK on the Brexit Counter of the government.






Just as with exporting to the UK, when you import goods, you will have to deal with border formalities starting January 1, 2021. You need to declare taxes at the customs, have an EORI-number and prepare for your tax declaration. You will also need a British representative that can do your tax declaration for the goods in the UK.


Fiscal consequences

You might encounter additional expenses when importing goods from the UK, starting January 1, 2021. Check if you need to pay duties and levies. When no agreements have been made (hard Brexit) the tariffs set by the WTO will apply. You will also, most likely, need to pay the VAT for import (in Dutch) as set by the WTO. You will need to do this at customs (or with an article 23 licence) combined with your tax declaration. In the case of a hard Brexit goods and services from The Netherlands to the UK are no longer intra-community. The British countries are considered non-EU for tax purposes and the ICP (in Dutch) is no longer applicable.


Product requirements 

Check also when importing from the UK if the products you import continue to meet the European safety and quality requirements. Additionally, you will need to check whether you need a certificate for the import. You can follow the step-by-step plan of the CE-mark.

Read more about the changes regarding import from the UK at the Government information for entrepreneurs on Brexit (in English).





When no agreements have been made for transport from, to and through the UK, the same regulations and laws apply as for a non-EU country per January 1, 2021. This will have the following consequences:



The Euro Permit is no longer valid in the case of a hard Brexit and a CEMT-permit will be necessary. Make sure you have the correct permits on January 1.



Also, you will need to deal with additional administrative obligations and the above mentioned export and import consequences are possibly applicable to your transport activities. Going through customs will take extra time and work.


Insurances and requirements

Also consider that for travelling employees you may need to get additional (medical) insurances, transport insurance for goods, package requirements may change and you will also have to deal with border formalities between Ireland and the UK.

You can choose to outsource the activities surrounding the border formalities to a (customs) shipper. You can do that through Fenex, the Dutch branch organisation for shipping and logistic. In any case, make sure you make proper agreements with all the parties you work with and read more about transport on the customs website





When you do business in the UK, or work with parties that do that, Brexit will demand you to research your management in this area. When you have the correct information you can implement this in the period before January 1, 2021.


Support: Brexit Impact Scan and Brexit-voucher 

The government will meet you halfway concerning the correct information. The Brexit Impact Scan (in Dutch) by the RVO advices you on the basis of a questionnaire. Companies in need of external advice or support can request a Brexit -voucher. This is a compensation for SME-businesses that may be affected by Brexit. The voucher cover 50% of the expenses of professional advice, up to €2.500,-. Both your enterprise and the Brexit-consultant will need to meet a few conditions.


Want to know more about the Brexit consequences?

The Brexit changes are complex, unclear and manifold. Above we have listed the most general consequences you, as an entrepreneur, will have to deal with. It is too much to go into all the details and some topics will be left unspoken. Please visit Government information for entrepreneurs on Brexit. Or read more about import and export.


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