Brexit (update 15/01/2021)

Brexit with DEAL but not without customs formalities!

This 01/01/2021 the exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union, and thus also from the Customs Union, was effective. This exit was also validated by a historic free trade agreement between them. So it is indeed an exit with DEAL! But DEAL does not mean that you can export or import without customs formalities, it simply means that goods of English or European origin are not subject to customs duties as long as they can justify a preferential origin.


Some important reminders:

  • The product you export must originate from the EU, i.e. the production process must meet a list of requirements. You can assess whether your product meets these requirements by using this link:
  • Your product must be sent directly to the UK, i.e. it must comply with the "no alteration" rule.
  • The importer may require you to provide a declaration of origin, proving that your product originates in the EU.
  • Your declaration of origin must contain the information required by the draft EU-UK Agreement (Knowledge of the exporter or certificate of origin and/or REX number). This declaration must appear on an invoice or any other document which describes the product sufficiently well for it to be identified.
  • The origin is not the provenance! If you buy goods of Chinese origin in England (= which have been made in China) you will pay import duties when the goods are cleared through the European customs territory.
  • In addition, goods produced in the EU with UK content relevant to the acquisition of origin will not be considered as originating in the EU. As such, they will not be able to benefit from the preferential trade arrangements that the EU has concluded with other third countries.

On the other hand, the Incoterm you will use will have a decisive function in the export process to the UK. You should use the Incoterm EXW (Ex Works) or DAP (Delivery At Place), in which case we can carry out the export formalities on your behalf and the import formalities into England on behalf of your client-recipient. The Incoterm DDP must be banned as it obliges you to obtain an English EORI number as well as a fiscal representation in England, you will be responsible for all the problems that may arise during this transport including until the complete customs clearance of the goods on the English territory.


In addition, we would like to remind you of the necessary information to be able to export goods to the UK:

  • Request your EORI number from Belgian Customs (
  • Sign our "CUSTOMS AND EXCISE REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT" (available on request).
  • Commercial Invoice indicating obligatorily: currency, value, origin of each merchandise, the name of the exporting company as well as the name of the importing company and its EORI+VAT numbers.
  • Packing list indicating the number of packing units, the net weight and imperatively the gross weight.
  • The customs codes of your goods (preferably on the invoice) are the nomenclature codes of the International Harmonised System (HS-CODE). We can also help you to determine these codes at your request.
  • The incoterm you will use for your shipment.
  • Information about the customs office at destination. If the recipient in the UK is not aware of this, we can carry out the customs clearance on your behalf.
  • The deferral of import VAT is not systematic, it is granted following an administrative request to the FPS Finance using form ET14000 (

Our team is at your disposal to answer all your questions on +32 2 391 95 70 or by email via

Astre Palet System GDP - Pharma GDP - Pharma GDP - Pharma AEO Controlled temperature