An update on major regulatory changes when shipping to Europe

As we have communicated previously through our outbound Sales & Account Managers, from the 1st January 2021 there will new customs procedures that apply when trading with the EU.

Please find additional information for all EU shipments on the requirements you may now be required to provide.

Data Requirements

After 31st December 2020, you may need to provide additional information for all EU shipments about the sender, recipient and items you are sending.

What additional information will you need to provide?

Commodity Code
Detailed product description
Value of product
Country of origin

EORI Number
Address and telephone number

Address, email address and telephone number

How to get an EORI number?

EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification. An EORI number is currently needed to import or export items outside of the EU. After the 31st December 2020, it is likely that UK businesses will also need an EORI number for shipments to and from the EU.

We recommend your business registers for an EORI number as soon as possible to be prepared for the event of a No-Deal Brexit. You can do this on the HRMC website – it is quick and simple to register and is completely free.

Register for an EORI number

Commodity Codes

Commodity codes (also known as HS codes) is an internationally standardised system of numbers used to classify traded products.

This information is used by customs officials at customs clearance points across the world. By using a number to describe what is in the shipment,  it removes issues associated with vague descriptions and language barriers.

Finding Commodity Codes

You can start to classify your product catalogue with commodity codes now. Visit the below link and search for your products.

Find a commodity code

Please note, product descriptions need to be quite detailed.

Bad Product Descriptions Good Product Descriptions
Clothing Men’s knitted jumper, 70% cotton, 30% polyester
Laptop HP Pavilion 14-ce1509sa 14″ Intel Core

i3 Laptop – 128GB SSD

Footwear Ladies Leather Shoe

VAT (Export)

After 31st December 2020, distance selling arrangements may no longer apply to UK businesses.

EU countries may treat goods from the UK in the same way as goods entering from other non-EU countries, with associated import VAT and customs duties due when the goods arrive into the EU.

As a business, you may need to provide evidence to prove that goods have left the UK in order to support the zero-rating of the supply.

This can include:
Export proof documents.
Customs authorities may also accept alternative export proof information like Airwaybills, Track and Trace information or invoices. The details depend on the requirements of the national customs authority.

Next Steps – Make sure your business is ready for Brexit

Register with HRMC for your EORI number.
Classify each of your products with a commodity code.
Ensure product descriptions are detailed and relate to the commodity code.
Ensure you have accurate addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers for all recipients.

Should you have any additional question please email: