Key facts about the UK/ EU Trade Deal

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A comprehensive summary of the UK’s Trade Deal with the EU can be found by clicking HERE however below are some of the key facts which will have the most impact on our businesses trading with the EU.

Customs Declarations

  • These WILL be required at both export and import, both here in the UK and in the EU.
  • At the very minimum a commercial invoice will be required with a Packing list for road freight
  • The Commercial invoice will be required with all the necessary customs data. Commodity code, Country of Origin (more on this below) values, Incoterms etc.
  • Therefore the same customs procedures will apply from the 11pm December 31st as they do know for all Non-EU imports and exports.
  • Import Vat will apply and will be payable based on the rules of the member state in the EU
  • In the UK postponed VAT accounting can be used or a deferment account etc.
  • The agreement does not affect arrangements on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which are covered under a separate protocol.

Tariffs and Quotas

  • There will be NO tariffs on goods exported or imported between the UK and EU 27 (see below MAJOR CAVEATS)
  • Cumulation can also be applied to UK/EU goods i.e. if a product is made in the UK from EU material these materials can be classed as originating (i.e. as if they were made in the UK). Diagonal cumulation will not apply.
  • HOWEVER, the massive caveat to this is that goods must meet the requirements for preferential origin status. These are product specific (by Chapter and tariff heading) and the rules vary: Some products require a Change of Tariff Heading (CTH) others require Change of Tariff Sub Heading. (CTSH), whilst some may state a MaxNOM (%) i.e. maximum value of non-originating materials usually 50% of the EXW price. Article Orig.6 describes some tolerances. Origin rules are in Annex 2
  • EXW price is defined in detail on page 417 but in basic terms means the sales price.
  • In addition to this a product will not be considered as originating in the UK/EU if a minimal process has been carried out on non-originating material this is described in detail in Article ORIG 7 on page 30.
  • Supplier declaration will be required from the exporters suppliers confirming origin of goods. A supplier declaration is provided at Annex Orig-3
  • Article 24 & 25 then states the actions customs authorities in both the EU and UK can take to verify preferential origin status and article 28 described administrative sanctions and measures that can be implemented by authorities where documents have been drawn up to claim a preferential origin which is incorrect.
  • The Exporter will be able to self-certify the origin of goods on the commercial invoice, EUR1 will not be required. The EU exporter can use this statement in their language there is no need for a translation (article 19)
  • The bit that needs clarifying is (2) the notes state that this should be is the number assigned by the customs authorities or it says it can be left blank (therefore this need clarifying by HMRC)
  • Box 3 will be ‘UK’ for exports.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: if you export/Import goods that are not originating in the UK/EU i.e.  you import USA /Chinese/  products – add no value or undertake minimal processes – export to the EU then these products will be subject to the MFN standard tariffs and duties may apply. Same for goods coming from the EU to the UK.
  • Article 8 also states that goods sent out for repair can be returned duty free, regardless of origin (assume a CPC code for this will be published)


  • Agreement avoids unnecessary technical barriers to trade with the EU on low risk products, more specifically information is provided on automotive products, wine, organics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
  • All goods exported to the EU must meet their regulatory standard including food safety. Products of animal origin must carry veterinary certificates.
  • Products that are required to display the CE mark must conform to EU standards.
  • The UK will begin to introduce the new UKCA conformance mark but importers of CE marked goods from the EU will have 12 months to comply to the new requirements.
  • The UK and EU will recognise each other AEO standards


  • The UK and Turkey can now agree a Free Trade Agreement – this is expected to be agreed shortly – please note this is a FTA – therefore products will be subject to preferential rules of origin not as per the current customs union arrangement therefore duty may apply subject to the MFN arrangement on goods not of UK/EU origin more information will be released once the  agreement has been published.


  • Changes will start from 11pm December 31 – As we have left the Customs Union and Single Market these are major changes.
  • The UK/EU FTA eliminated duties and some invisible tariffs on goods which qualify subject to rules of origin
  • Duties will still apply (subject to the Tariff) on non-originating goods as we have left the Customs Union
  • Check conformity issues for specific goods
  • Customs Procedures and declaration will definitely happen from 11pm December 31 – ensure you and your suppliers/ customers are ready for this.
  • Import VAT will need to be accounted for / payable in the EU

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