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Can I still export to the EU? A summary of the new rules

Brexit has now taken place and the UK is no longer part of the European Union (EU) or the European Single Market – and this is likely to have a significant impact on your export plans.

Prior to Brexit, exporting your goods to other EU member states was a reasonably straightforward process, with import and export between nations made easier due to the UK’s membership of this far-reaching trading network. But in the post-Brexit landscape, things have got more complicated and, potentially, more costly.

So, can you still export to the EU?

The key areas to check when exporting

The short answer is, ‘yes, you can still export to the EU’, but the whole process is likely to be more complex, more time-consuming and (ultimately) less profitable.

According to the latest government advice, these are the key steps for any business planning to export goods to an EU member state:

  • Step 1. Check if you need to follow the new export process – this will depend on whether you’re exporting goods to an EU country outside of the UK.
  • Step 2. Check the rules for exporting your goods – and apply for any licences you need to export your goods.
  • Step 3. Get your business ready to export – including getting an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number) and checking whoever's receiving the goods can import them.
  • Step 4. Decide who will make export declarations and transport the goods.
  • Step 5. Classify your goods – including finding the right commodity code to classify the goods you're exporting.
  • Step 6. Prepare the invoice and other documentation for your goods.
  • Step 7. Get your goods through customs.
  • Step 8. Keep invoices and records.

You can get more detailed advice and guidance for each step in the export process on the HMRC website here.

Note: There may also be specific sector implications to consider too.

Talk to us about exporting to the EU

As you can see, your export process is likely to be a more complex and onerous process now that the UK is outside of the EU. However, with the right planning, preparation and awareness of the new export rules, you can still export your goods to EU countries and continue trading.

If you need additional advice around the implications of exporting your goods, please do get in touch. We can advise you on the important customs, VAT and export requirements.

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