As we all know by now, the UK left the EU earlier this year and we are now in a transition period that has given both parties time to negotiate a future trading relationship. For the duration of this period, the UK has remained part of the Customs Union. However, it is due to leave when the transition period ends on December 31 2020. If a trade deal isn’t agreed by then, the EU and UK could be trading on WTO terms from January 1 2021.
What will really happen is not yet clear but the are two main possible scenarios:
- A Free Trade Agreement (FTA): an agreement whereby tariffs and quotas would not be applied on the majority of goods traded between the EU and UK. There could be some exemptions to this, however, and an FTA is unlikely to eliminate all customs checks so additional paperwork and other formalities could still be required.
- WTO terms: If an FTA cannot be agreed by the end of the transition period, the EU and the UK will trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. Shipments will be subject to customs clearance and inspections, while tariffs are expected to be imposed on goods that the EU sends to the UK and on goods the UK sends to EU countries.
How to prepare
- Investigate what would it mean for your business if WTO terms were to be introduced
- Register for a UK or EU EORI number
- You’ll need an Incoterms agreement with customer
- You’ll have to know the “classification of goods” according to regulation
- Know how to complete and submit commercial invoices
- Prepare for Customs Clearance
- Consider setting up a Deferment account
If this feels overwhelming, you can contact us and we will take care of all the different aspects of trading with the UK going forward.
For freight transporters and their customers using Zeta System Spa for their UK/EU trades, there is NO CHANGE to their crossing, or to the paperwork required at this time.
We are regulated UK forwarders and have DIRECT access to port operation and specialised personnel.
Contact us to analyse your personal situation and see how we can support you during these times.
As the UK and the EU continue to negotiate their future trading arrangements, Zeta System Spa will continue to update you in preparation for any changes that are planned for 2021.