Transglobal Express - Worldwide Parcel Delivery
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Preparing for Brexit

When do the rules change?

The UK left the EU at the beginning of 2020. This was followed by a transition period of a year in which our terms of trade remained the same, in theory to give us more time to hash out the details of a new trade deal.

However, on 1st January 2021, this transition period ends. With only weeks to go, we still don't have a deal, so it's looking increasingly likely that we'll fall back on standard WTO rules.

What does this mean?

Until now, customs clearance has not been required when shipping goods between the UK and EU countries. From 1st January 2021, however, a customs declaration will be required when exporting goods from the UK to the EU, and vice versa. In other words, it'll be just like sending to a country outside of the EU.

Your customs declaration will need to detail the contents of your shipment, alongside the appropriate tariff codes for identification purposes.

Goods shipped between the UK and the EU will also be subject to customs duties and taxes - please see below for more details.

Advice / requirements from our carriers

DHL Brexit Customer Information (PDF download)

DPD Brexit Guide (PDF download)

FedEx Brexit Checklist 2021 (PDF download)

Landmark Global - How retailers can prepare for a no deal Brexit

UPS Brexit Playbook (PDF download)

What can I do to prepare?

The government has provided a step-by-step guide for what you need to do to prepare. We've also listed some essentials below.

Prepare to export goods from Great Britain to the EU from 1 January 2021

Prepare to import goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021


As mentioned above, all parcel or pallet shipments between the UK and the EU will require a customs invoice detailing your goods. We can generate this for you as part of the booking process, but you may also use your own. Please also see our help page to see what information is required.

Each item listed for your consignment must be accompanied by the correct tariff code, also known as a commodity code. You can use the government's look-up tool.

Taxes and duties

The UK Global Tariff will apply to all imported goods from 1st January 2021, replacing the Common External Tariff of the EU customs union.

You can use the government's look-up tool to compare new and old tariffs for each category of goods.

When importing to the EU from a country outside of the EU, VAT is not due if your goods are valued below a certain threshold—between €10-22, depending on the country. Goods valued up to €150 are exempt from customs duties, with exceptions. For more information, please refer to the European Commission website.

When importing to the UK, goods valued up to £135 will be exempted from import duties and import VAT. Instead, VAT will be applied at the point of sale. However, customs procedures will still apply and documentation is still required. For gifts, the threshold remains £39. For more information, please refer to the UK government website.

For taxes and duties for goods above these thresholds, you should notify the receiver as they may be required to pay.

You can apply for the option to have goods Delivered Duty Paid—which means all duties are charged to the account holder, rather than the receiver. However, this is only available for some services and a surcharge applies per order.

EORI Number

Businesses will need to make sure they register a UK-specific EORI number starting with the letters GB. You can register online.

You will need a separate EU EORI number for any import or export declarations made within EU countries. For the EU number, you can make your application to whichever member state you deal with first.

Prepare for delays

Whatever the outcome, there are likely to be delays in the short-term as supply chains adjust to new rules and customs checks at the border.

There isn’t much you can do about this except to plan around it, allow for more time and let your recipient know of the general disruption in advance.

What are we doing?

We are currently working on adding paperless customs invoicing to help streamline the process and reduce delays.

Whatever happens, we'll guide you through the booking process step by step, to ensure that you have all the information you need.

Need advice? Get in touch

We are happy to help however we can and will always try to keep you updated about your parcel delivery or cargo shipment.

If you have a query about a shipment, please get in touch. You can call us on 0345 145 1212, email sales@transglobalexpress.co.uk, or speak to us on Live Chat.

Our office hours are 8am-6:30pm Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm Saturday (excluding bank holidays).


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