Cross-Border Trade

Safety and Security Declarations

All goods leaving or entering the EU customs territory are subject to pre-notification of certain safety and security information by carriers (hauliers for ro-ro, ferry companies for unaccompanied trailers/containers). For UK exports to the EU and for EU exports to the UK, this will be a combined harmonised document with customs. The UK has announced a 12-month transition period for imports from Brexit day to allow industry time to prepare.

What is a safety and security declaration?

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI)

An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is the first step to be able to submit customs and safety and security declarations, either directly or indirectly. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has automatically issued numbers to all VAT-registered companies.

More information available here.

Switching ferries en route

The export declaration can be amended up to the time of arrival at a UK port of exit; the haulier needs to let their agent know so the declaration can be updated. There will be a single location code covering Dover and Eurotunnel that can be entered onto the export declaration, so switching between these points does not require an update.

Customs training 

HMRC has released details of five customs training providers.

Where can i get customs training?

Customs Agents – how to get started with customs

Most businesses use a customs broker, agent, or freight forwarder to make customs declarations for them. This can make importing and exporting simpler and faster. Alternatively, business may make declarations directly with HMRC but will require specific software and customs training, plus connections to agents in the countries to be traded with. 

£10 million grant funding for increasing training delivery capacity

You can apply for two grants to help your business complete customs declarations in preparation for the UK leaving the EU. You can apply to receive funding for:

  • Staff training and recruitment that helps your employees complete customs declarations and processes. 
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently.

More information: Can I get government support to help my business make customs declarations?

Transit arrangements  cross border transit 

The Common Transit Convention (CTC) allows you to move goods across certain borders without paying import duties until the goods arrive at their final destination. See here for guidance.

Importing and exporting plant-based products, products of animal origin or live animals – sanitary and phytosanitary checks

Outbound flows (UK > EU) of plant-based products and products of animal origin (including composite products) will be subject to systematic sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements and checks. Inbound flows (EU > UK) will be dealt with on a risk-based approach, whereby there will not be systematic checks at the border, but some paperwork will be mandatory depending on the type of products. 

Can agrifood products and other animal-based or plant-based products move freely from the UK to the EU in a no-deal scenario?
These products can only enter the EU through approved ports or airports known as Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) and Designated Points of Entry (DPEs). Health certificates issued by the products' country of origin will be required. Document checks will be carried out upon entry in the EU territory. Additional physical checks may also take place. 

Can agrifood products and other animal-based or plant-based products move freely from the EU to the UK in a no-deal scenario? 
The UK decided to implement a risk-based approach without any checks at the border. However, remote checks will be carried out on high-risk products, and there are mandatory administrative requirements (including pre-notification of the consignments) on high risk products.

Further information can be found through the following links:
Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU exit
Importing and exporting plants and plant products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal
Exporting animals, fish, animal and fish products after EU exit


...If you're an FTA Member and you can't find the question you're looking for, get in touch with our Member Advice Centre and fill in the Member Brexit Query Form here.

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