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Brexit: What are the Current Customs Processes To Take Note of?

As of the 1st January 2021, the UK is officially a separate customs territory from the EU—so there are certain changes to customs procedures as you know them.

To make sure you adhere to the new customs processes as a registered company in the UK, follow these 4 simple steps.

Apply for a GB EORI

What is this?

A Great Britain Economic Operator Registration and Identification (GB EORI) is a unique number that any business looking to import goods from the EU into the UK, or export goods from the UK to the EU, requires.

Do I already have one?

Thankfully, not all businesses need to apply. If you’re VAT-registered business and have traded with the EU in the past, HMRC will have automatically provided you with your very own GB EORI.

Not sure whether or not you have one? Get in touch with HMRC.

How do I apply?

Click on this link and fill out the relevant paperwork to apply. Best of all, the entire process only takes roughly ten minutes to complete.

Apply for an EU EORI

What is this?

Likewise, the EU also requires all businesses trading with its member states to have their own EU EORI.

How do I apply?

Head to this page from the EU website to find out more about the application process.

Get a Customs Intermediary

What is this?

Customs intermediaries handle all relevant customs paperwork for your business without you having to lift a finger. You can choose to appoint customs agents, Fast Parcel Operators (FPOs), Freight Forwarders (FFs), or customs brokers as intermediaries.

Why deal with more paperwork than you actually have to?

How can I appoint one?

There’s no specific application process per se. Simply Google “customs intermediaries”, find some companies that you like the look of, and go from there.

What if I want to handle customs declarations myself?

Perhaps you don’t want to fork out on getting someone else to handle your customs declarations. That’s fine. However, if you want to do this yourself, you’ll still have to purchase commercial declarations software and register to be put on the National Exporter System (NES).

Once this has been approved, you’ll get a special ‘badge’ that allows you to use HMRC’s online custom systems.


HMRC are offering a variety of grants to help businesses that want to complete customs declarations by themselves.

Apply for a Duty Deferment Account (if necessary)

What is this?

Customs is big business. Whenever goods are imported from one customs union to another, certain charges apply: VAT, customs duties, or excise duties, for example.

You can either make these payments on an individual, consignment-by-consignment basis, or you can instead choose to set up monthly direct debits. To do this, you need to set up a “duty deferment account” (DDA).

Alternatively, VAT-registered businesses can also use postponed VAT accounting. This means that you log the total amount of VAT due (and recoverable) in your annual VAT return, instead of paying on a monthly basis.

How do I apply?

To learn more about the specific application process, head to GOV.UK’s dedicated page.

Take the hassle out of Brexit

Brexit is proving to be a headache for many businesses out there—but that doesn’t have to be the case. Armed with the right information, you can begin to embrace life post-Brexit.


That’s where Osome comes in. If you have questions on how to deal with all these tariffs post-Brexit, our accounting experts are on hand at all times to answer you. To find out more, simply get in touch.

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