Brexit – Notice on important customs changes

2021-01-21 Dear customers,

please, let us bring to your attention the important changes in customs clearance taking place due to the fact that Great Britain left the European Union, and that the transition period, when customs declarations were not required, ended on 1 January 2021. All terms and conditions of economic cooperation between the EU and Great Britain are defined in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is very detailed; here are the basics for shipping after 1 January 2021:

  • Customs Declarations are required between Great Britain and the European Union, therefore Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoices are needed.
  • Reaching the TCA means that, in most cases, Customs duties will not be applied, as a zero tariff has been confirmed for goods sent between the UK and EU; however, this is conditional on meeting the Rules of Origin Requirements upon shipping.
  • Please note that VAT will still be levied.
  • The United Kingdom is changing the rules for the collection of UK VAT as previously announced.
  • Details for trade with Northern Ireland were only confirmed on 31 December 2021.


In December 2020 an agreement on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol was reached. The UK-EU TCA has no bearing on the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

  • A three-month temporary approach to applying declaration requirements for parcels moved by express carriers from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will enable parcels to continue to move as they do now, in most cases until 31 March 2021. 
  • For goods valued at £135 or more received by Northern Ireland businesses (from Great Britain), a declaration must be submitted by the receiver within three months of receiving the goods. Further detail on how to submit this declaration is expected; however, Northern Ireland businesses are encouraged to sign up to the Trader Support Services and store invoices for the goods received. 
  • Excise goods and restricted and prohibited goods sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland may require a declaration.
  • The new customs rules will not apply to the majority of goods shipped from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. There is further detail on qualifying Northern Ireland goods here
  • No customs declaration is required for shipments between Northern Ireland and the EU, as this is still treated as intra-EU shipping.
  • You can find more information here.


Shipments between Great Britain and the EU now require Customs declaration. This may lead to transit delays of several days.

Please, respond to our messages regarding customs clearance of your shipments as soon as possible. By doing so, you will substantially accelerate the shipment’s release.