Rules of origin, red tape and how to deal with it in a post-Brexit world
Before the UK left the European Union at midnight on January 31st, 2020, the UK and EU governments settled a trade deal called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), set up principally to determine the future trading relationship between the two markets.
Welcomed by many UK business owners as a the most favourable outcome compared to a no-deal scenario, the alternative would have brought the UK-EU trading by default onto World Trade Organization (WTO) terms – less than ideal from the UK’s point of view.
But leaving the EU meant also saying goodbye to the customs union putting the UK among the non-EU markets which are subject to EU tariffs. The result is that our imports and exports must qualify for tariff-free status to fall in line with the TCA agreement.
Therefore, we have had to adapt to the new rules and implement changes to the way we do business. If your business has not introduced changes, it is not too late. But this is what you need to do:
- Check that the EU business that you’re exporting to is also ready
- Ensure you have an EORI number starting with GB.
- Check the current rules for importing and exporting and ensure your goods meet origin rules
- Make customs declarations when exporting good to the EU
- Use a good courier, freight forwarder or customs agent as it will save time and help greatly
If you’re finding it difficult, you’re not alone, we’re all navigating the ocean together. Help and advice is readily available and there’s always the UK government’s website that has lots of useful information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/brexit-guidance-for-businesses
At FB Leaf Chain we talked to our business partners early on to agree on working practices and systems that would be mutually agreeable. Once they are in place, it’s not as much trouble as you think.