London bus

Brexit updates

All you need to know

What is happening?

On January 31st 2020 the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. We are now in a transition period, which will last until December 31st 2020. In this transition period, the UK and the EU will negotiate a free trade deal. The time is short for the size of the agreement.

Prime Minister Johnson has already said that he will leave the EU no matter what. This means there is still a lot of uncertainty about how trade between the UK and the EU will be from January 2021 onwards.

A few things are certain:

  • The UK is no longer an EU member state.
  • The negotiations will be tough and the time is short
  • There will be certain filing or registration formalities for trade between the UK and the EU.

A transition period may prove to solve the most urgent worries, but at some point, the transition period should end with a final agreement entering into force.

As an importer/exporter, you should start preparing for this, even without knowing the exact post-Brexit requirements yet.

What can you do NOW to prepare?

Even though specific filing requirements are not published yet, you should make sure that any data which may be required is available. It is safe to assume that preparing for a ‘hard Brexit’ will prepare you best for any given scenario. Also have a look at this checklist. 
We have also prepared a Q&A with all the questions and answers regarding the Brexit. Please take a look and let us know if you would like to add something!

Some practical examples:

  • Make sure your ‘master data’ is correct and readily available within your company.
  • Have processes in place to efficiently share them with Customs Agents.
  • Have a full insight in all flows of goods from and to your company between the EU and the UK. Make projections, so you know the amount of work that is needed to complete these.
  • Make sure your legal documentation is in order (PoA, commercial contracts, etc.) so Customs Agents can clear your goods.

What can we do to help you?

Customs Support is a full-service Customs Agent with offices in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and a partner in the UK to provide filing services in all UK ports. Besides customs clearance activities, Customs Support Consultancy provides advisory services to clients across Europe.

Customs Support can assist with and advise on all customs related issues, but we can’t do that without you. Let’s go through the aforementioned examples to give you a clear picture:

Master Data: it is essential that all data fields required for customs clearance are correct and available within the company. This means that basic information such as to value, weight, volume, insurance, and delivery conditions are kept in a structured database. A key element that needs to be captured is a product description and the HS code (Customs Code) data. Enriching a product database with correct HS code information is a time-consuming process that requires specialist knowledge. Don’t wait until December 31st with this. This can be done in advance. Customs Support Consulting provides ‘classification services’ to help companies establishing, enriching or updating the product database and be prepared for customs filings. You should make sure that data like the basic product information is correct.

Efficient data sharing: The increase in customs activities following the Brexit will put enormous pressure on the customs authorities and the customs clearance industry. Manual input of customs filings will be a challenge. As all filings are made digitally, and most data will be available in WMS or ERP systems, agreeing on a digital transfer of data with your Customs Agent will expedite your flows. You should align this transfer with your Customs Agent. Customs Support is able to receive and process customs data in multiple formats. We can process .xls/.xml/.csv and many other format documents or connect through, for example, an EDI connection straight with your IT infrastructure. Establishing a process takes time, so it is important to develop, test and agree on these processes well ahead of December 31st. Customs Support can assist in this process.

Projections: All filings are required to be checked and enriched/completed by a Customs Agent. Given the expected increase in filings post-Brexit, a shortage of specialist agents is expected. Reserving capacity at your customs agent is important to make sure that filings happen on a timely basis. This prevents shipments being detained by Customs in Europe or the UK. Make sure that you have an overview of expected volume on a monthly basis for at least 2020 and share this with us. On the basis of this information, procedures and IT connectors can be developed in a joint effort.

Documentation: Customs Agents must obtain a power of attorney to provide customs clearance services. Every exporter/importer needs to process such a PoA. This is generally a time-consuming process, especially for freight forwarders and other entities with a large pool of clients.

You should make timely decisions on how you will approach the upcoming surge in documents and make sure all legal documentation is in order. Do check the Brexit Checklist.

Customs Support can assist in preparing and gathering the proper documentation in a timely manner.

If you have any questions or issues concerning Brexit or any other customs-related matter, then please do not hesitate and contact us directly.


Artikel Frankrijk 17-09-2020

Customs Support France is Opening a Calais Office in Preparation for Brexit

Getting ready for a big increase in customs documents

EU wants veto on UK laws. UK plans to overrule withdrawal agreement

Brexit: About a Veto on British Laws and the UK Overriding the Withdrawal Agreement

Negotiations harder due to steps both parties are taking

Maasvlakte 2 Maersk Line

The Port of Rotterdam Presents 5 Steps to Get Your Cargo Through Dutch Ports

Let your cargo flow through Dutch ports with minimal delays

Belgium customs Brexit update

Belgium Customs Prepares for Brexit

New staff, training, and upgraded systems

‘Brexit: Evofenedex en UWV dringend op zoek naar douanespecialisten’

Brexit Preparations: Have Your HS-Codes in Order

Exporting or importing to the United Kingdom? Make sure you know your HS-Codes

Brexit 3 - juli 2020

Will a Brexit Deal Be Made? UK Government Advises Pharma to Stockpile Medicine

Negotiations for the Brexit Deal, the Free Trade Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union are still not on track.

LinkedIn Brexit Poll

Customs Support Poll: Little Over Half of Companies are Prepared for Brexit

In our latest poll on LinkedIn, we found that 56% of companies are ready for Brexit, while 15% states they are only partly ready. 29% has not yet prepared for Brexit.

Algemeen 1 - juli 2020

Many Trade Deal Negotiations for the UK. What's the Status?

There are around 70 trade deals that the United Kingdom was a part of as an EU member state. These 70 deals now have to be renegotiated.

Brexit 2 - juli 2020

Extending the Transition Period Still Possible Through a Back Door?

The deadline for requesting an extension to the transition period has passed and the date for Brexit is set and final. Or is it?


The Extension Deadline Has Passed. What's Next?

The July 1st deadline for extending the transition period has officially ended. From this date, nothing blocks the United Kingdom from leaving the European Union on...


Four Years Since Brexit: Where Are We Now?

The Brexit decision was taken four years ago, but still there is no trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom. What is the current status?

Brexit flags

UK Logistics Firms Want to Change Post-Brexit Customs Procedures [Updated]

A great deal is still unknown about the procedures that will soon apply at the borders with the United Kingdom. The British FTA is worried and wants simple procedures.