Ready for Brexit
Our Brexit project team has laid the foundations for a well-functioning, secure logistics network from and to the UK. However, many companies that rely on the smooth transport of their products have yet to do their Brexit homework. These businesses need to make these preparations now if they want to keep their goods moving.
The clock is ticking: in a few short weeks Brexit will be upon us. Yet as things stand, you would need a crystal ball to predict the outcome of the negotiations. And although the EU and the United Kingdom are working hard to reach a solution despite the missed deadline, there are still no concrete results on the horizon for businesses to hang their hat on. The only certainty is that economic relations between the EU and the UK will be transformed in a lasting manner. At present, negotiations are still focused on a free trade agreement (FTA). Meanwhile, another scenario currently being considered would see the parties making individual partial agreements that would cover various sectors of trade with the EU. If the outcome is an FTA or partial agreements, then the starting position for businesses will be much more favorable than in the case of a hard Brexit. However, none of the negotiation options currently being discussed guarantee frictionless trade for companies. Inevitably, rather, there will be bureaucratic hurdles that will significantly impair trade. Customs procedures will lead to delays in border traffic and have a negative impact on the reliability of supply chains. Owing to the long-drawn-out negotiations between the EU and the UK, it is not yet clear whether there will be an agreement to reduce tariffs.
Customs clearances must be sorted out in advance of shipment
Two years ago, we put in place a Brexit project team possessing all the skills and expertise required to ensure that our customers’ goods can continue to flow securely from and to the UK in 2021 and beyond. Due to the uncertain progress of the talks, our team of experts had to develop suitable concepts and solutions that would help ensure the smooth transport of goods whatever the political outcome, covering every conceivable permutation of hard and soft Brexit. We also increased the staff in our customs teams, particularly in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, so as to get a handle on all the extra work that will be involved in customs clearances. In addition, we created new IT solutions that allow our customers to securely and efficiently manage customs procedures. But the active participation of our customers is vitally important in ensuring that customs processes are handled securely and with maximum efficiency. It is only by acting in concert that we can optimize our efforts and fulfill all customs requirements, so that network shipments can be transported without any hiccups. An important part of this is checking in advance whether shipments fulfill all customs requirements for transport from and to the UK in order to prevent unpredictable holdups at customs stations. After all, the secure functioning of the network is of paramount importance for us and our customers.
To find the perfect solution for your shipments, it is vitally important that you make thorough preparations. Here is a list of the most important tasks you need to carry out to support us in the efficient handling of your order:
- Apply for an EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification) number in the country in which you want to carry out customs-related activities. You can apply for a UK EORI number via the following link: Click here to make an immediate application for an EORI number online. You can apply for EU EORI numbers via the respective local customs websites.
- Create a commercial invoice with all customs-relevant information. You are welcome to send this in advance to your local DACHSER branch, who will check it for you.
- Agree Incoterms with the trading partner. You can find all relevant information about Incoterms here.
- Find the TARIC code here.
- Find the UK commodity tariff number here.
- Please send us the contact details of your customer (importer) in the country of destination, including their name, e-mail address, and phone number, so that we can clarify the customs clearances with them.
- Please clarify with your customer (importer) in the UK whether a simplified declaration procedure (Entry in the Declarant’s Records, EIDR) should be used and whether the customer has its own deferred account.
- Only use packaging material that meets the ISPM 15 standard. You can find relevant information here.
- Observe the specific labeling requirements for certain products. You can find relevant information here.
- Talk with your tax consultant about the taxation requirements in the country of departure/destination. This is necessary when using the shipping terms DDP and EXW in particular.
So that we can properly carry out the import and export customs procedures on your behalf, we need a corresponding customs representation authorization (CRA) or power of attorney (POA). This authorization creates the legal basis that allows us to act on your behalf in dealings with local customs authorities (this representation occurs at your cost).
Note: To prevent any transit delays, please send us your CRA/POA by January 1, 2021. You can obtain the relevant forms from your DACHSER branch.
For all shipments, we check for completeness the documentation required for customs clearance. This prevents any delays due to missing documentation. To secure your shipment, we require from you:
- The following documents: commercial invoice / pro forma invoice, delivery note, packing list
- Please check whether the documents contain all essential contents required to fulfill customs clearance.
- In the case of new customers, we additionally require the importer’s contact details (name, e-mail, phone number); please advise your importer that DACHSER will be getting in contact with them.
- To ensure that customs procedures run smoothly for customer shipments, we solicit the requisite data and documents from you in advance.
- To be able to handle customs for you, we have considerably strengthened our customs team, particularly in the UK and Ireland.
- To prepare for the contingency of serious congestion on main routes, we planned alternative transport routes well in advance, including for shipments to Ireland.
- We are using new IT solutions developed in-house to design secure and efficient customs clearance structures.
- To be able to manage the additional tasks surrounding Brexit, we have set up an internal project team.
- Should you require warehouse solutions in the UK or the EU, please contact your DACHSER branch. A customs warehouse solution is also possible where needed.
The following links provide useful information about the main Brexit topics and tasks:
Current information from governments
- Here you will find a summary by the European Commission of what has already been agreed in the context of the Brexit negotiations and what is currently being negotiated and prepared: https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership_en
- On this page, you can find information from the UK government on preparing your imports and exports from and to the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-import-and-export-goods-between-great-britain-and-the-eu-from-1-january-2021
Identification numbers and international standards
- Here you will find all the information you need about registration and identification numbers: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/customs-procedures/general-overview/economic-operators-registration-identification-number-eori_en
- Everything you need to know about Incoterms rules is covered here: https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/incoterms-rules/incoterms-2020/
- The customs tariff database of the European Union, also known as TARIC, contains information about all measures relating to EU customs tariff, commercial, and agricultural legislation: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/calculation-customs-duties/what-is-common-customs-tariff/taric_en
Guidelines on the labeling and packaging of goods
- Here you will find the UK government guidelines for wood packaging goods with regard to import, export, reuse, and returns: https://www.gov.uk/wood-packaging-import-export
- Here you will find the UK government guidelines on the marking and labeling of food (especially animal products, hops, and wine), plant seeds, and manufactured goods: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/labelling-and-marketing-standards-from-1-january-2021