Brexit and customs


Effects of the Brexit

As of February 1, 2020, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union. However, it will remain part of the EU single market and the EU customs union until December 31, 2020. So far, it is unclear whether or not there will be an orderly exit. Nevertheless, there are big changes ahead for all parties involved. For example, a no-deal Brexit could mean insolvency for many companies.

Leaving the single market and customs union means that shipments of goods between the U.K. and EU member states will no longer be considered intra-Community shipments and thus must be treated as exports to a third country. Consequently, any consignment of goods to be exported to the UK will require an export declaration under customs legislation. This does not apply to thresholds above which customs declarations must be submitted.

In addition, regardless of the value or quantity of deliveries to and from the UK, customs declarations must be submitted by economic operators in the future. 

Brexit EU


Legal opinion

According to the status in January 2020, the European Commission would like to propose a legal view to its partner countries in case of a regulated Brexit with withdrawal agreement.

This legal view means:

  • Certificates of origin from the EU that contain materials originating in the United Kingdom or that were or are produced there on the basis of origin continue to be valid as certificates of origin from the EU.
  • Supplier’s declarations issued for such certificates of origin before 31 January 2020 remain valid.
  • On the basis of these supplier’s declarations, customs offices may therefore issue preferential certificates during the transitional phase or they may be issued as self-certification by the exporter.

Partner countries may not share this view, as the required input materials originating in the UK could be considered non-compliant. Thus, claiming preferential treatment may not be recognized by partner countries.


Export declaration with the UK –
What to consider for the export declaration?

An export declaration is always submitted electronically. Only consignments of goods up to EUR 1,000 and with a maximum weight of 1,000 kg may be submitted orally to the customs office of exit.

Germany uses the specialist IT procedure “ATLAS-Ausfuhr”. The IT systems now have to be converted so that the UK is considered a third country receiving country. This happens automatically in the background for AES FOR YOU! users. Similarly, authorizations for simplified exports must be adapted by companies if they have such authorizations.

Certain documents belong to export declarations, which must be in the possession of the customs declarant at the time of the customs declaration and which can be presented upon request. These are, for example, all documents that provide information for the content of the customs declaration, such as the commercial invoice, delivery bill, packing list, certificate of origin, etc.

It remains to be seen how the United Kingdom and the European Union will decide. BEX, as a responsible customs software producer, is prepared for any scenario and will initiate everything necessary as soon as a decision is made and the necessary adjustments are made by customs.



Pauline Wörner

Seit Oktober 2020 bin ich Werkstudentin bei der BEX und unterstütze hauptsächlich das Marketing- und Vertriebsteam. Ich studiere Technical Content Creation (Technische Redaktion) an der Hochschule Aalen.