Purpose: Prepare your business for shipping within the EU post Brexit. The transitional period ends and the UK officially leaves the EU in January 2021.
International shipping: exporting goods from the UK post-Brexit
At the time of writing, the transitional period during which the UK will part with the EU is currently underway. From January 2021, the UK will officially leave the European Union and the way you ship products from the UK to the EU will change.
While no withdrawal agreement has yet been met, the UK Government has issued some information that can help you prepare your business for shipping post-Brexit.
Regardless of the withdrawal agreement, the requirements for exporting and importing goods will inevitably change.
Apply for an EORI number
Every business moving goods between the UK and the EU will require an EORI number starting with GB. An Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) is 12-digits long and begins with the country code of your registered country.
To apply for an EORI number for a UK business, go here.
Once you have obtained your EORI number, it's essential you include it in your Sendcloud account details. This will ensure that all of your customs declarations contain your EORI number when created through Sendcloud.
To add your EORI number, log in to your Sendcloud account and go to Settings > Addresses. Fill it in the appropriate field and press Save. For more help, see our dedicated article.
Understand the required documentation
While the UK was part of the EU, it was not required to declare goods at the customs border when importing and exporting. All of this will change post January 2021, and you will now be required to present customs documents for all of your shipments outside of the UK.
You will need to submit either a CN22, CN23 or commercial invoice for your shipments depending on your chosen shipping carrier and the weight and value of your products. If you are exporting items that require a license you need to include a C and E83A ‘Exported by post under HMRC Control’ label.
When you create your labels in Sendcloud, your customs documents will automatically be printed alongside your shipping label. You will be prompted per order with a destination country outside of the EU to enter the necessary product information. From that point on, the documents are correctly generated.
For more information on how to create customs declarations through Sendcloud, see our designated article.
Check your VAT process
In the event of no-deal, the UK ceases to be part of the EU VAT and customs union immediately. This means the UK will be treated as a ‘third country’ for VAT and customs purposes. This will require different paperwork. Exports are likely to still be zero-rated for VAT. However, they will now be termed as exports. The EU business you’re supplying will probably need to account for VAT. They may also need to manage customs on the goods. We strongly advise talking to your EU suppliers ASAP to make sure you are both prepared.
In the meantime, make sure your VAT number is correctly added to your Sendcloud account.
Keep up to date
Until the withdrawal agreement is finalised, the terms and rules for exporting goods remains unclear. Follow the steps above to prepare yourself and consult the official guidelines from GOV.UK: