Many businesses trading internationally, particularly with European customers and suppliers, have experienced difficult trading conditions during 2021. The Trade Agreement (“TCA”) has introduced many complexities, some of which (eg increased administration) were expected, others, (eg the origin rules), were not. Contrary to popular belief, the TCA agreement is not a free trade agreement. Duty can still be paid on non-UK origin goods going into Europe (and vice versa) and, unless a customs simplification such as warehousing is used, duty can be paid twice. Many businesses have suffered unexpected costs and reductions in margins as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

VAT & Customs

Dains’ VAT and Customs practice comprises experienced specialists who provide pragmatic, holistic, bespoke solutions for businesses trading internationally. We offer a range of services to help businesses navigate through the changes.


The VAT and Customs helpline provides advice from specialist consultants for a low fixed fee. 

Efficient structures for international businesses

For businesses that are seeking to review or improve their strategy for dealing with the EU we are able to create bespoke solutions. These may involve customs simplifications such as warehousing or processing.

Commodity code, origin and procedure code reviews and claims

In our experience many businesses use the commodity code provided by the supplier when importing goods and do not undertake their own review of the code.  This can lead to incorrect duty payments.  Our Customs team is experienced in reviewing commodity codes to ensure that the correct and optimal code is used.  This can result in claims for overpaid duty which can go back 3 years.

In addition, we will review the origin rules which apply to the commodity code to confirm whether duty is payable and/or whether a warehousing or processing solution would be beneficial.

International networks

We work with a strong international network of advisors who can help navigate complex rules for trading in other European member states.

E-commerce solutions

Businesses which hold stock in Europe or which buy and sell goods in the EU may be required to register for VAT in a European Member State.  We can arrange for VAT registrations and VAT compliance.  We are also able to appoint an indirect representative for Customs purposes in select member States.  This can be of particular importance for the One Stop Shop (“OSS”) and Import One Stop Shop (“IOSS”).

Customs Agency

Dains’ customs agency is able to complete customs entries including:

  • Imports
  • Exports
  • Transit
  • Carnets
  • Warehouse entries

We are able to complete export and import entries within Europe, thus providing a one stop shop pan European customs compliance solution. 

On-Demand Webinars 

Missed our recent webinars? Visit our on-demand VAT & Customs section to catch up now.

Want to talk? 

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs with you.  For an introductory discussion please contact Terri Bruce or Mike Overington or complete our enquiry form and we will get back to you.