Exporting to the EU - What does brexit mean for your business?

02nd September 2019

As the rhetoric and speculation ramps up and a ‘no deal’ brexit seems ever more likely, is your business prepared? It is difficult to separate the solid business advice for companies who import or export goods from the general noise and panic. 


WTO Rules for importing and exporting from the UK

In a no deal brexit we will leave the European Union and the common market without any trade agreement in place. All trade to and from the UK will be subject to WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules. WTO rules are rules of international trade set by the WTO.  If countries do not have free trade agreements with each other, they trade under these "WTO rules". These rules include a list of tariffs that are applied whenever two trading countries do not have an alternative trade agreement.

EORI Number

It is crucial you register for your EORI Number (Economic Operator's Registration and Identification Number). This number will be used by customs and other authorities to monitor and track goods coming into and out of the EU. HMRC will allocate EORI numbers to all VAT registered businesses. If you already have a UK EORI number that starts with GB, you can continue to use it and if you are not VAT registered apply online.


Export Declaration

An export declaration is currently used when exporting outwith the EU and is part of HMRC’s import and export handling system. Find out more about how to apply.


Customer registration of goods

The receiver must apply to their national customs authority to trade with the UK now if it is outside the EU.


Customs Clearance

Goods may require customs clearance and a subsequent  entry declaration. The importer must also provide evidence that VAT and DUTY have been paid.


Further information


Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Government guidelines

What are WTO rules?