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Brexit Agreement: What does the agreement change for EU exporters?

A Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union was finally reached on 24 December 2020, a few days before the end of the transitional period and the re-establishment of customs borders. This trade and cooperation agreement entered into force on 1 January 2021.

What doesn't change with the post-Brexit Agreement


The Agreement does not call Brexit into question: the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union as of midnight on 1 January 2021. Your shipments to and from Great Britain are therefore import/export flows:

  • Import/export customs clearance formalities: You must always make a customs declaration for both imports and exports.
  • Border controls: Random checks and/or checks on certain so-called sensitive goods are maintained (sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), dual-use goods, compliance with EC standards).
  • Potential financial impact: Payment of import VAT and customs duties (unless exempted)

What's changing: Duty exemptions are provided for


On both the EU and UK sides, the agreement allows for the immediate dismantling of customs duties on all products as long as they benefit from preferential origin as provided for in the agreement. If your goods do not benefit from preferential origin or if the benefit of preferential origin is not claimed, they will be subject to the standard rate of customs duty or the rate provided for in the UKGT.

To check whether you can benefit from total or partial relief from customs duties*, you may refer to the Annex "ORIG-2" of the Agreement (p. 472). In addition, the European Union provides you with a tool to help you find the rules of origin applicable to your products: https: // This tool is only relevant if your tariff classification (the nomenclature code assigned to your products) is correct.

The preferential origin of goods should not be confused with "made in".
Goods can be made in the UK but not have a preferential UK origin.

My goods are eligible for preferential origin:
What do I have to do to benefit from it?


A. On your UK or EU import customs declaration: Mandatory information

  • You must enter code "300" in box 36 of the customs declaration to apply for the exemption.
  • The preferential country of origin code ("GB" or "DE", "FR", etc.) must be entered in box 34.

B. To justify exemption from customs duties: Two possibilities

Declaration of origin on commercial document

It is an endorsement on an invoice or other commercial document issued by the exporter that describes the originating products exported in sufficient detail to enable them to be identified.

This mechanism is relatively simple to implement: once the preferential origins have been verified, it only requires you to set up a parameter for the indication in your computer system for the product concerned.

Knowledge of the importer

Your customer importing into the UK/EU will have to apply for preferential origin. To do so, he will need to have all the material elements justifying this origin and provide them to the customs administration at the time of import.

This mechanism is more restrictive and uncertain: the importer must agree to take on additional formalities and, in practice, to act as an intermediary between the seller who has the evidence and the local administration (often with language problems).




If you decide to opt for the declaration of origin on a commercial document, and
that you send items worth more than €6,000, you must have a number
registered exporter, which must be entered on the declaration of origin.

In practice, the Registered Exporter Number (REX) is a must have to enable you to limit the negative impact of Brexit and make the most of the agreement reached in extremis between the EU and the UK.

* and when your products do not meet the definition of "wholly obtained products" such as live animals for example.

To obtain your Registered Exporter Number (REX) or to proceed to
an analysis of the preferential origin of your goods, contact us.
We assure you of our response within a maximum of 48 working hours.