New customs regulations for imports and exports from and to the UK

From January 1st new customs regulations apply for imports and exports from and to the United Kingdom (UK). Since the UK is no longer a member of the EU from early 2020, it will also no longer be a member of the customs union from 2021.


Because of Brexit a number of things will change for logistics. Customs formalities and customs duties come into effect following the WTO guidelines. There is no longer a free movement of goods, for imports and exports to the UK customs clearance is necessary. You don’t have to worry, we will make sure that your goods arrive neatly on their destination. However, it is useful to know what exactly changes from January 1st. We list it for you.


Every shipment must contain an invoice and a packing list. They have to include the following details:


  • The date
  • Name and address details of the recipient and sender
  • A contact person with phone number and email address
  • The quantity of the goods and a description of the goods, including the weight (gross and net) and the dimensions.
  • A HS code of the goods being shipped
  • The value of the products (per product and the total) and the currency
  • The country of destination
  • The number/type packages or pallets. Pay attention: pallets need to be ISPN 15 certified in the UK. This guarantees that the wood does not contain pests.
  • An EORI and a VAT number. You can request your EORI number at the tax authorities. Pay attention to Permit Article 23 with your VAT number. You can also request this at the tax authorities. In addition, think of export declarations and excise duties.
  • The Incoterms. It is important to review these with the recipients in the UK, to make clear who is responsible for which rights, obligations and costs. Also always determine to which location these conditions apply.

We recommend that you avoid ‘delivered duty paid’ (DDP) when exporting to the UK. In case of import from the UK, it is better not to do this “ex works” (EXW). Under these conditions you are responsible for customs formalities in the UK with possible problems or delays. Alternative incoterms may include “free carrier” (FCA) or “delivered at place” (DAP).