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Prepare to import/export goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021

Christian Fernsby |
The process for importing/exporting goods from the EU will change. Businesses in Great Britain need to complete the following actions to continue importing from EU countries from 1 January 2021.

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Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. Guidance on moving goods into, out of and through Northern Ireland will be added to GOV.UK in the coming weeks.

1. Check if you should follow this step by step

You should follow different guidance if you're:

- receiving or sending goods by post
- importing goods from countries outside the EU

2. Find out how to declare goods from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when you import/export goods from the EU. These rules currently apply to importing/exporting goods from the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

You can make the declarations yourself or hire someone else such as a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

- Get someone to deal with customs for you
- Find out how to make customs declarations yourself


Check the new rules for your type of goods

From 1 January 2021, the rules for importing/exporting some types of goods will change.

- Check what import/export licences or certificates you need
- Check the labelling and marketing standards for food, plant seeds and manufactured goods
- Check the rules for importing/exporting alcohol, tobacco and certain oils

3. Make sure you have an EORI number starting with GB<br>
You need an EORI number that starts with GB to import/export goods from 1 January 2021.

- Get an EORI number

4. Check the rate of tax and duty you’ll need to pay

You need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.

- Check the rate of customs duty on imports from 1 January 2021
- Check the rate of VAT

5. Check if you can make the importing process quicker

From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU.

In some situations, you can delay making a declaration for up to 6 months after you imported the goods.

- Check if you can declare your goods later to make the importing process quicker

6. Find out if you can charge VAT at 0%

From 1 January 2021, you can charge customers VAT at 0% (known as 'zero rate') on most goods you export to the EU.

- Check if you can zero rate your goods for VAT

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