Brexit: The key takeaways for Irish firms

The conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was a significant achievement for all concerned. The historic deal provides for tariff- and quota-free trade between the EU and the UK and protects Ireland’s place in the Single Market. It also establishes a foundation for a strong future partnership and positive engagement and co-operation between the EU and the UK in the period ahead.


Of critical importance is the fact that Ireland’s €92 billion trade in goods, services and agrifood with the UK will not be subject to unwelcome tariffs.

Another very important dimension of the TCA is the arrangements it puts in place for international connectivity, including aviation and road haulage, co-operation on cross-border law enforcement, energy links, trade in services as well as goods and a range of other important areas such as UK involvement in EU programmes, including the Horizon research programme and PEACE PLUS.

In addition, a legally secure bridging mechanism has been put in place to allow for the continued smooth flow of data between the EU and the UK. This avoids potential disruption to current arrangements where companies in Ireland have payroll and other processes carried out in the UK. It also enables Irish service providers to continue serving UK customers, with no requirement to adjust existing arrangements.

The arrangements for air travel mean point-to-point flights between the UK and EU destinations, including Ireland, can continue to operate smoothly. This will help maintain vital trade and business corridors between Ireland and the UK.

There are also new arrangements on ownership and control, and marketing cooperation between airlines. The impact of these arrangements has already been seen, with Ryanair moving to restrict the voting rights of UK-based shareholders.

The UK’s departure from the Single Market does mean new restrictions on British airlines, with point-to-point routes between EU destinations no longer open to them, for example.

The arrangements on road connectivity are particularly welcome as they make explicit provision for the unique situation of the island of Ireland, and the rights for our haulage sector are protected as much as possible. The agreement provides for point-to-point access between the EU and the UK, which covers the majority of traffic between Ireland and the UK.

Irish hauliers will also enjoy some cabotage rights within the UK. These will allow hauliers to deliver a load to one destination in the UK and then carry goods to another destination there. North-South cooperation on road haulage is protected, while Irish hauliers will retain the right to transit through the UK to third countries outside the UK, such as Switzerland.

But tariff- and quota-free trade does not mean barrier-free access. While the TCA is fundamentally in Ireland’s interest, it cannot and does not replicate the status quo which existed prior to Brexit. The UK’s decision to leave the EU means that the EU-UK relationship cannot be as close as it was before 1 January 2021.

From a practical point of view, this means that Irish goods are now subject to customs checks and controls on entry to the island of Britain. This applies to all goods destined for the UK market or transiting Britain en route to the EU or other markets.

To illustrate the scale of the challenge this presents for Irish business, it is estimated that the number of declarations made by Irish firms each year will increase from 1.7 million a year to more than 20 million as a result of Brexit

A great many Irish businesses have already prepared for this new situation and have put in place arrangements to cater for it. Those who are not yet ready need to act now if they are not to suffer severe disruptions to their business.

The first step in the preparation process is to obtain an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number. This is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which undertake the import or export of goods in or out of the EU. Companies can register for a number through Revenue’s EORI online registration service; the process is very straightforward and can be completed in minutes.

After that, companies need to determine the commodity code for the product or products they are exporting. Companies can find detailed lists of these codes on the Revenue website (

The next step is to decide who will be handling the customs declarations. In many cases, firms will use logistics partners or customs brokers to do this, but SMEs may well decide to do it themselves either to reduce costs or due to difficulties in finding a suitable partner.

Making declarations online is known as Direct Trader Input (DTI) and requires importers, exporters or their agents to have dedicated software making electronic declarations to the Automated Entry Processing (AEP) system. To do this, companies need to register with Revenue and obtain a digital certificate to make declarations to the system.

Several software products which can handle electronic declarations are available on the market and many of them can interface with ERP and accounting software to extract the data required for the declarations.

Accuracy is absolutely critical. There are more than 50 data points in a customs declaration and a slight error in any one of them will slow down or stop the shipment.

Where companies do decide to use a partner to handle customs on their behalf, they should not rely on business carrying on as usual in the early months of the new arrangements. The massive increase in the volume of declarations will put even the largest and best-prepared operators under strain. Companies need to talk to their partners and ask them if they are ready, if they have taken on more staff, and how high up their priority list they are.

For larger exporting companies, there is the option to apply for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status with Revenue. This allows them to self-certify exports and receive priority treatment when their goods are crossing borders. Traders that have registered under Authorised Economic Operator schemes will be mutually recognised in the EU and UK under the TCA.

At another very practical level, businesses must prepare for delays in supply chains, both for imports and exports. The massive traffic jams witnessed at Dover and Calais and other English Channel ports before Christmas gave some indication of what could happen in worst-case scenarios. Many importers and exporters will have to increase stockholdings to cater for such delays and this will require them to invest in warehousing and other storage facilities as well as potentially change the terms of trade with their customers and suppliers.

Those exporters who are not yet ready for the new customs regime should use the traditionally quiet period at the beginning of the year to prepare for it. Enterprise Ireland has a suite of supports available to help firms get ready and an excellent starting point in the process is the online Brexit Readiness Checker which delivers a personalised report that highlights any gaps in preparations, identifies priority areas for attention, and gives details of where to find help and support, all in 15 minutes.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) may not have replicated the frictionless status quo which has existed up until now, but it certainly represents a vast improvement on what a no-deal Brexit would have meant for Ireland and Irish businesses. As such, the challenge now is to make the most of that and take advantage of the tariff- and quota-free access to the UK market which the deal has delivered.


Assess your Brexit readiness with our Brexit Readiness Checker

CE marks authorised by UK will no longer be valid within the EU

From 1st January new rules will apply to those exporting to GB, as well as those buying from it


That’s the date on which the Brexit transition period ends, and the UK finally leaves the EU.

New Year’s Day is a Red Letter one for Irish businesses trading with the UK. It marks the end of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement transition period and the beginning of the UK’s new status as a Third Country, outside the EU.

Regardless of the outcome of trade talks, this means:

  • Significant changes to the certification rules governing Irish exports to the UK
  • New certification requirements for Irish manufacturers bringing parts in from the UK
  • Greater legal responsibility as former Irish ‘distributors’ of UK goods become ‘importers’ to the EU



Get properly certified

“If you receive products from the UK, you should assess your responsibilities under EU law now.” – Mary White

Irish companies exporting to the UK must take steps now to ensure their products are correctly certified. Failure to do so could see goods impounded.

Currently, goods that are compliant with EU legislation carry the CE mark. However, if your product’s CE mark is authorised by a UK standards assessment body, known as Notified Bodies, that certification will no longer be valid within the EU.

“If your organisation relies on certificates, licenses or authorisations for goods or services which have been issued by UK Authorities, or by UK-based Notified Bodies – or are held by someone established in the UK – these will no longer be valid within the EU, post-Brexit,” warns Mary White, Head of the Brexit Unit at the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).

Companies in such a position need to transfer certification – or seek new certification – from a Notified Body or Authority within the EU-27 member states. “The sooner you do it the better,” she says.


New responsibilities

From 1st January the legal rules surrounding some business activities will change.

Anyone who previously acted as a distributor of goods originating in the UK will now become an importer of those goods and take on significantly more responsibility for ensuring they conform to EU standards. That applies for component parts, as well as finished goods.

“If you receive products from the UK, you should assess your responsibilities under EU law now.  It is likely that post-Brexit, if you buy goods from the UK you will be considered as an importer for the purposes of EU product legislation.  This means you will have another set of obligations under EU law depending on the sector,” says White.

If you import from the UK, you will now be required to keep additional information on file too, so engage with your UK suppliers to obtain this information as soon as possible.



CE becomes UKCA

“Remind your UK customers that they will become ‘importers’ under UK law.” – Mary White

Come 1st January Irish products placed on the UK market will be subject to UK legislation.

New UK regulations stipulate that any product that requires a Declaration of Conformity will have to have this carried out by a UK Approved Body, as opposed to an EU-27 Notified Body.

To be traded in Great Britain the goods must be marked not with the CE mark but with a new mark the UK has introduced, UKCA (Conformity Assessed).

Until 31st December 2021, CE marked products will still be allowed to be placed on the UK market.

“Remind your UK customers that they will become ‘importers’ under UK law, and they will be required to be able to access a copy of your product’s technical file. You should prepare this information now, so that it will be available to your UK customers after 1st January 2021,” says White.


Regulatory divergence 

In January the UK will have UK legislation coming into force similar to current EU legislation. However, “What they don’t say is whether they will update this legislation when the EU amends its legislation,” says White.

At present there are 32 pieces of EU legislation covering manufactured products here, in the form of both directives and regulations.

Several EU directives currently under review, including the Machinery Directive. “The UK will not be obliged to update their legislation as they will not be bound to EU rules, hence, there will be divergence,” she warns.


Act now 

“My message for Irish manufacturers that require their product to be certified under a particular piece of EU legislation is to first, ensure that your certification is carried out by an EU-27 based Notified Body from the 1st January 2021.” – Mary White

If you use a UK Notified Body, check to see if it has established itself in an EU-27 Member State, as some have relocated, she points out. In Ireland there are now 16 Notified Bodies who undertake conformity assessments, up from three just two years ago.

If yours hasn’t relocated to the EU-27, check the EU NANDO (New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations) website to look through its database of 1500 Notified Bodies  []  to find an alternative.


Transfer your files

“From 1st January, UK Notified Bodies can no longer certify your product and issue the CE mark,” says White.

“You can transfer your existing technical file from the UK NB to an EU based NB up until the 31st December. Otherwise, you will have to get your product recertified, and this can take several weeks to transfer.”


  • if you currently CE mark your product under EU rules, you will still have to, post Brexit.
  • if you rely on a UK Notified Body for the certification of conformity that underpins your CE mark either you will need to transfer your technical specification files from your UK Notified Body to an EU-27 one, or
  • you will need to obtain a new certificate that has been issued by an EU-27 Notified Body
  • if you do this post-Brexit, you will automatically be required to start with a new application.



EU Declaration of Conformity 

Make sure to have your Declaration of Conformity documentation in order, a requirement for CE marked goods.

“If you are an Irish manufacturer and are currently importing a CE certified component from the UK after the 1st January, you are now importing from a Third Country,” reminds White.

A copy of the Declaration of Conformity for the certified component needs to be available at the point of entry, demonstrating that the product has been certified by an EU-27 Notified Body.

All products certified by a UK Notified Body must be placed on the market before Brexit occurs or else will need to be recertified.

As long as the certified product is in transit, and an invoice has been generated by the Irish manufacturer or importer of the goods before 11pm on 31st December 2020, “this product can still be placed on the EU market, even if it does not arrive until March,” she points out.


EU Declaration of Performance

Goods being placed on the market in England, Scotland and Wales will have to have UKCA marking, with conformity assessment carried out by a UK approved body.

As well as a UKCA mark, such goods will need UK Declaration of Performance documentation to support them.

There is a transition period in which CE marking will still be permissible, giving Irish companies time to get their UK certifications in order.

The UKCA mark will be required for industrial products from January 2022, and for medical devices from July 2023.

Although a new mark CE UK (NI) is also being introduced, EU rules will continue to apply to goods moving to and from Northern Ireland, with no significant changes there, she says.


Finally, don’t trip over a pallet

ISPM 15 is an international phytosanitary measure developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPCC) that sets down standards for the treatment and marketing of wood packaging material (WPM) such as the pallets and crates used in international trade.

Under EU Regulations, certain minimum standards apply and those that have attained the requisite standard are heat treated and stamped.

Currently ISPM15 is a requirement for WPM entering the EU from Third Countries. It does not currently apply to EU UK trade.

However, from 1st January 2021 the UK becomes a Third Country and ISPM15 becomes a requirement.

“As of now, there are in excess of 100 million pallets in the UK, 90% of which do not have this mark,” says White. As all WPM may be subject to official checks either upon or after entry to the EU, now is the time to discuss this issue with your UK trade partners.


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New UK importing rules: Establishing a UK Presence

A recent Enterprise Ireland webinar outlined the key rules around customs that will come into effect when the Brexit transition period ends and discussed issues around establishing a UK presence. 


On 1 January 2021, the free movement of goods between the UK and Member States of the EU ends and the UK will become a ‘third country’.

Margaret Whitby, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at BPDG and Claire Wilson, Stakeholder Engagement at HMRC Customs and Borders Unit gave an overview of how the import/export rules will change.

“If you currently move goods to or from GB or EU, you only need an invoice and a transport order. After the end of the transition period the process will start with an export declaration and when you arrive at the ports in Great Britain you’ll need to have import declarations. So you will have up to nine additional procedures to take into account, depending on your role in the supply chain. These rules will come into play no matter what agreement is reached,” explained Whitby.


Staged introduction

Recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, the UK Government has decided to introduce the new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021 for UK imports.

“Most traders will not have to make import customs declarations on 1 January 2021 but those importing controlled goods (such as excise goods) will be expected to follow full customs requirements,” said Whitby. ​

“The requirement for safety and security declarations on import – Entry summary Declarations (ENS) will also be waived for six months.”

On 1 January 2021 the UK will join the Common Transit Convention (CTC) in its own right which allows duty to be suspended when moving goods across CTC member countries. EU goods arriving in the UK under transit will need to complete Office of Transit formalities.

“We intend to use a digital model to automate this process, making early use of the Goods Movement Vehicle System, which will support the Pre-Lodgement model for both imports and exports from July 2021,” said Wilson.

On 1 April 2021 the UK will phase in additional import documentation for animal products and on 1 July 21 it will implement full customs requirements and border checks.


General requirements and preparation

A UK importer and exporter will need to have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number (goods not services) issued by the UK and EU importers and exporters must have an EORI number issued by an EU Member State.

“You also need to agree terms and conditions with your UK importer and ensure that responsibility for customs checks, duties, verification and release regimes is clear,” said Whitby.

Since the announcement of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), there will be no quotas or tariffs applied on trade between the EU and the UK.


Declaration requirements from January 2021 to July 2021

Claire Wilson gave details about declaration requirements for imports and exports.

“Traders bringing goods from the EU to the UK will need to declare their goods to customs. Goods must be declared in advance of crossing if moving through a listed Ro-Ro port or a location without existing systems.

“Traders moving non-controlled goods to the UK will be allowed to declare their goods by making an entry into their own records. They will be required to submit this information via a supplementary declaration within six months of import and pay the duty via an approved duty deferment account at that point,” explained Wilson.

Traders moving controlled goods will need to make a frontier declaration. If the goods are coming in through a location without systems that would allow the trader to notify HMRC that goods have been imported, the trader must manually arrive the declaration in HMRC systems (including entry to the Excise Movement and Control System for excise duty suspended goods) by the end of the working day following the physical crossing.

The UK is moving to full customs control for exports from 1 January so traders exporting goods from the UK into the EU will need to submit export declarations and safety and security information.

If goods are moving via a non-inventory linked location the customs declaration will need to be submitted as “arrived” while the goods are at the trader’s premises. HMRC will notify the trader if the goods have “permission to progress” or need to be taken to a facility for a check.​ If goods are moving through a location with existing inventory systems the standard Rest of World export model will be followed.

From 1 July everything moves to Rest of World procedures.

“We’re working now with border locations to develop how they will manage goods moving through. Some will use the temporary storage model, or the newly developed Pre-lodgement model, some will use the new IT system called the Goods Vehicle Movement Service to support the Pre-lodgement model for both imports and exports and to facilitate Transit movements,” said Wilson.


VAT and Excise

The UK Government announced that from 1 January 2021 postponed VAT accounting will be available to UK VAT registered businesses (including Non Established Taxable Persons) for imports of goods from all countries.

On 1 January 2021, the Rest of World rules will apply to imports and exports of excise goods moving between the UK and the EU.  Businesses will need to complete customs import and export declarations using the relevant codes for duty paid or suspended goods. If businesses move duty suspended excise goods to and from a tax warehouse to the place they enter and exit the UK they must use the UK version of Excise Movement and Control System (UK EMCS). UK EMCS must also be used to move duty suspended excise goods from UK warehouse to UK warehouse.


Setting up a UK entity

In the second half of the webinar Gerry Collins, Managing Partner, and Ruth Potter, Tax Partner, at Ecovis, a company which is highly experienced in working with businesses internationally, spoke about creating a UK presence.


Importing into the UK as a non-UK business

“Goods moving from the EU into the UK will be regarded as imports and will be subject to import VAT,” explained Potter.

“Where the UK customer is unwilling to be the importer of record, the Irish supplier will be responsible and may have to register for UK VAT. A non-UK business can register as a Non-Established Taxable Persons Unit with HMRC; they don’t need a UK physical presence. But they will require a UK EORI number.”

Businesses will need to be established in the UK in order to act as a declarant for customs declarations. If the business doesn’t want to have a presence it will have to appoint a UK-based customs intermediary to deal with customs documentation. Alternatively a non-UK trader without a UK establishment can appoint a full UK agent who will act as the principal and take full responsibility for necessary customs entries, reporting and payment.


Creating a UK presence

“You may want to establish a UK presence simply to act as the customs agent for the Irish business. This would involve minimum cost. Or you might want a presence that can receive goods into the UK for onward supply to your customers, enter into commercial contracts with UK customers and employ staff,” said Potter.

She also explained that non-UK businesses can set up UK bank accounts, but added that the anti money laundering policies can be cumbersome and fees may be higher. Some banks insist on a UK legal entity and HMRC will not issue direct VAT repayments to businesses overseas.

Gerry Collins then outlined the issues involved in setting up a legal entity in the UK looking at the options of a UK branch, a separate limited company or a partnership, in terms of time to set up, legal protection, accounting filing, taxation and commercial issues.

“Setting up a separate entity sends a very strong message of market intent and so is good if you’re thinking of expanding. In my 30+ years of experience about 95% of businesses wanting to do this set up a limited company, normally a 100% owned subsidiary. The 5% who set up a partnership are generally in the financial services sector.”

To conclude, Ecovis outlined some key actions that businesses should be taking now given the short timescale to the end of the transition period. These include talking to customs intermediaries, checking likely commodity codes and VAT rates in the UK, appointing a VAT agent to deal with VAT compliance and performing a Brexit risk assessment.

Ecovis has offered Enterprise Ireland clients a free one-hour consultation for specific company enquiries.

Revive Active: Preparation is key for post-Brexit success

Preparation is everything when it comes to Brexit, with the consensus being that you really can’t start early enough to prepare for the changes that will come in 2021. One company that knows everything about preparation is Revive Active, a massive success story in the Irish health supplements sector that is determined not to let Brexit slow down their plans of expansion in the UK.


Revive Active has been successful almost from its formation in 2011, thanks in large part to research and its dedication to producing exceptional products. The company was founded by Daithí O’Connor, who comes from a finance background but put over 12 months’ research into the supplements sector before establishing the company. “It was almost by accident that I was introduced to supplementation,” he explains. “There were a number of medics in Galway who were interested in alternative medicine and I was introduced from the business side. While they had an array of different ingredients that they would recommend to individuals, nobody had taken on the task of putting these ingredients into one product.

Daithí could see the effects of key ingredients such as CoQ10 and L-Arginine, both of which were involved in Nobel prize-winning studies, and so came up with the idea of putting these ingredients in with many other vital ingredients for wellbeing. “The idea was to make the best product possible, and then figure out the rest afterwards. That has always been the main thrust of our business, to always raise the bar. Our first product, Revive Active, is our flagship product, and contains 26 ingredients in a dissolvable sachet that is easily absorbed. We have 13g of product in there with no fillers or binders – to take Revive Active in tablet form would mean taking thirteen individual tablets.

And undoubtedly, the business has been a success: From 2016 to 2018, turnover doubled, and from 2018 to 2020, it doubled again.

Brexit strategy 1: Move to Ireland 

Today, the company has nine products, with one more in development, seven of which are manufactured by the company inhouse. At first manufacturing was outsourced to the UK, but with Brexit looming, Daithí made the decision to move the operations inhouse to Ireland. “I always wanted to come back to Ireland and manufacture here but we were curtailed by finances. But with Brexit coming I discussed it with our head of operations Colm Horton, , we thought we would bite the bullet and set it up. It has been a fantastic success, and we now have 14 people employed in Mullingar. We’ve been in operation about 18 months and already it’s getting too small and we’re looking at additional warehousing for storage.”

The move was made to minimise the financial risks from Brexit; in 2018, the company was granted European Regional Development Funding (EDRF) for the employment of a manufacturing manager at the plant. EDRF grants are implemented and managed by Enterprise Ireland.

Brexit strategy 2: Put your customers first  

From the very start, Revive Active’s greatest marketing tool was its customers. Our biggest issue was trying to explain to the consumer why our product was different,” Daithí says. “You’re curtailed by claims – even the two ingredients with Nobel Prizes behind them don’t have claims with the European Food & Safety Authority. So, our customers were our biggest advocates and salespeople because they experienced the products benefits. Different people got different results, eg sleeping better, more energy, clearer thought, fewer colds and flus, and they then would tell their friends. Word of mouth is still so important for us.”

Daithí could clearly see that keeping the customer happy was key to success in post-Brexit Britain. “Our customers don’t care about Brexit. If they order a product, they expect to get it the following day. We must maintain our top class service to our  customers as anything less would be a threat to our business.”

“We thought at one stage we could supply everything for the UK from Mullingar, and perhaps incorporate the tariffs and customs. But then we began to think that we could not risk our product being stuck in customs. So first we have built up stock, which we will send over before the end of the year to give us a two-month buffer. Then we are contracting out manufacturing to a company in Wales to supply the UK. It means we have two separate entities supplying the UK and Europe.”

Daithí says that supply to Northern Ireland could come from either location, and it’s important decisions like these that Enterprise Ireland’s advisal services have been invaluable. “Enterprise Ireland has been a great support to us with making such decisions over the past few years. In fact, I have been in touch with a specialist logistics person to discuss Northern Ireland post-Brexit.”

Brexit strategy 3: Look at the market trends

Daithí says that the UK represents about 10-15% of their business, but he sees significant room there for growth. The company has retail partners in Ireland, the UK, Nigeria and Portugal, but online is an important market, and through this, they sell all over the world. And it is here that Daithí sees the opportunities for growth in the UK post-Brexit and in wake of Covid-19.

“The whole industry has changed with Covid; the city centres are not getting the business they had before, but online is way up. Community pharmacies are also probably seeing an uplift. Luckily, we had a presence both in the city centre and through community pharmacies already.”

The company can also see the advantages of being a health and wellbeing business at a time when health is everything to the consumer. Both the online business and this focus on health and fitness have had an impact on Revive Active’s marketing plans in the UK. “We’re supplying Sheffield United football club for the 2021 season with Zest – we’re the official immune-support partner for the club,” says Daithí. “We also have a number of ambassadors such as Irish international and Sheffield United player John Egan and professional rugby player James Ryan. We’ll also launch a PR and digital marketing campaign to really push the business next year.”

Customs: How to simplify your engagement with customs post-Brexit

The race is on to become Brexit ready, for when the UK exits its transition stage on 31st December. So from 1st January 2021, Irish businesses must be prepared to complete customs formalities related to the movement of goods to, from and through the UK. Preparation is a process that takes time, and with the deadline inching closer and closer, it’s essential that business start their journey to become customs ready as soon as possible.


Essential first steps

At the very least, businesses should register for an Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) number and work out who will make customs declarations. If you plan on making those declarations inhouse, then you must educate yourself on how to complete them and install specific customs software. If you are planning on using a customs agent, then you must find out what data they need from you in order to make accurate declarations.

After these two steps are completed, businesses should look into other customs-related issues, such as how customs duties will be paid, the impact of customs on your supply chain and logistics, changes to VAT and excise, and any licenses or certifications your goods may need.


Next steps

Once these are done, it’s time to look at any ways you can improve your customs journey – and the good news is that there are many ways to simplify your interactions with customs, depending on your business model. However, as many of these take time to set up, it’s worth educating yourself now on what’s available and what you need to do.

Applications for these authorisations or simplifications are made electronically through the Customs Decision System, and in each case, an application must be made simultaneously for a comprehensive guarantee.

“Once a business has registered with customs and worked out who is looking after declarations – and how this is going to be done – you can look at some of the various simplifications or authorisations with Revenue,” explains Raphael Ryan, Assistant Principal at Revenue. “One of these is the Deferred Payment scheme, which allows you to defer payment of duties until the following month. This can really benefit your cashflow, but as it requires a guarantee with a cash deposit or from a third-party financial institution, you need time to set these up.”

Authorised consignee and consignor allow you customs clear your goods from your premises, so you have all your declarations completed before you even get to the port, making movement through the ports quicker and more streamlined,” explains Raphael.

“In addition, warehousing is another key simplification. This is for businesses that bring import goods in bulk but may not need to use them for several months, they can use customs warehousing and not pay duty until they are released for use.” Temporary storage is a related simplification, in which goods are kept under customs supervision until they are placed under a customs procedure, re-exported or destroyed.

“In terms of outward processing and inward processing, these are mainly linked with manufacturing companies that are bringing in goods from the UK for further processing,” Raphael continues. “This allows you to reduce some duties, and it’s linked with comprehensive guarantees.” More information on inward processing can be found in our recent webinar.

Other simplifications are available for bigger businesses with a lot of goods in transit. “Simplified Declarations and EIDR [Entry in the Declarants Records] are mainly for larger companies that would have the capability for monitoring and managing the flow of goods through their premises, and keeping detailed records of these. It’s something that larger operators should consider as it does give them extra benefits too, such as keeping the flow of goods as close as possible to just in time.”

Information on these simplifications and authorisations is available on, along with contact details for more guidance on setting up the relevant systems. “There is a lot of information on and we’re updating it constantly with step-by-step explainers and more aids,” ends Raphael.