The post Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020. What do the new rules mean? Have all of the relevant applications been made in order to continue trading smoothly?

A guide for subscribers.

At a glance

From 1 January 2021 business who export goods from Great Britain (GB) need to decide which Customs routes they will follow. These rules do not apply to Northern Ireland (NI) as it continues to operate as part of the EU for VAT purposes.

Importing and exporting goods between GB and NI, from February 2023, comes under the Windsor Framework which replaces to contentious Northern Ireland Protocol agreed as part of Brexit.  

All businesses, regardless of the goods exported or the route chosen, will need to do the following:

  • Check VAT guidance for what VAT responsibilities will apply.
  • Obtain an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number. Apply on GOV.UK. This can take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.
  • Businesses trading moving goods to/from NI (but not through to the Republic of Ireland) will require a second EORI number. This will start with XI.
  • HMRC has been automatically issuing both types of EORI where it believes it is required.
  • Check what import licences or certificates you may need depending on the goods exported (food, livestock etc.).
  • Keep records for six years.