Things Businesses Need to consider

Importing and Exporting

If you are importing or exporting goods from the UK, then there are both opportunities and obstacles.

There is a significant amount of paperwork to complete to comply with the rules for both importing and exporting goods.  We can advise you as to the processes and procedures you should follow and the simplifications which may apply.

We can also advise you with regards to the special procedures which can enable you to mitigate customs duties, ensuring that your supplies remain commercially viable.

Import Declarations

Clients importing from the EU are required to complete import declarations if they are the Importer of Record.  No duty will be payable on UK/EU origin goods but may be payable on goods originating elsewhere depending on trade agreements with other countries.

Businesses can apply to make simplified declarations. 

No VAT will be payable on importation, instead it will be accounted for on VAT return. 

Intrastat returns for arrivals will have to be completed initially.

Every import must have a value.  Nothing can be imported on a FOC basis.

Export Declarations

Businesses will be required to submit export declarations.  You will need to consider whether you will complete these yourself or whether you appoint an agent to submit the records on your behalf.  We can assist with this.

From a VAT perspective, exports will be zero-rated but you need evidence of export.


The EU and the UK Tariff have both been updated to take into account the new origin rules which are highly complex. 

UK businesses will have to issue statements of origin when trading with the EU.  Full compliance has been deferred until 1 January 2022 but customers are already making requests for information.

Double taxation may occur if goods are imported into the UK from EU or ROW and are then exported into the EU as duty will be payable twice.

This can be avoided if Customs warehousing is implemented.


Incoterms become increasingly important as they identify who will be responsible for import documentation or export documentation.  This can also dictate whether a VAT registration is required outside of the UK.

End of VAT Simplifications

As the UK is no longer part of Europe we no longer have access to VAT simplifications such as triangulation, call off stocks and distance selling rules.  UK Businesses may be required to register for VAT in European Member States.


If duty is payable on importation (goods do not have preferential treatment) and they are then re-exported, double taxation will result so they might want to consider a customs warehouse.

Please contact us to discuss.


If goods come into the UK for processing and are then exported, Inward processing Relief (“IPR”) should be applied for to avoid double taxation and VAT issues.  Equally, if goods are exported for processing and re-imported, Outward Processing Relief (“OPR”) should be used to avoid double taxation and VAT issues.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has a hybrid status; iIt is part of the UK for VAT purposes and part of the EU for Customs purposes.

GB businesses supplying customers in NI may be required to make declarations that their supplies are not at risk of moving into the EU.

Businesses trading with NI should register with the Trader Support Service (“TSS”) and obtain an XI EORI.


UK businesses will have to comply with new regulatory rules when trading with the EU.  This particularly impacts the food industry as health certificates will be required for animal and plant products etc.

New labelling regulations have also been introduced.  Compliance is difficult and expensive.


We offer...

VAT & Customs Helpline

  • Set fee for first half hour
  • Reduced consultancy fees
  • Agreed fees for work

Customs Retainer

Set monthly fee for telephone advice.


We are able to assist businesses in dealing with disputes arising from HMRC inspections or queries.


We can provide bespoke training to suit the requirements of your business on both VAT & Customs issues. 

International Network

We have an international network of advisers who can provide advice and support as required.

Get in touch? 

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs with you.  For a free introductory discussion please contact Terri Bruce tel: 07929 186391 or complete our enquiry form and we will get back to you.