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"Legal Brexit" is 31 January 2020. "Operational Brexit" comes later

The UK leaves the EU on 31 January – but it is the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 that is important

On 1 February 2020 the UK enters the Transition Period and continues as if it were part of the EU for all shipping, customs and regulatory purposes.

So there is no change to any procedures, documentation or operations yet. You can continue to book your shipments to and from the UK as you do today.

But remember that at the end of the Transition Period, it is very likely that there will be "hard operational Brexit" when all shipments between the UK and the EU will have to have customs documentation.

At the same time all trade agreements which non-EU countries have with the EU will cease to apply to the UK. So if you are trading with the UK from any of the countries with which the EU has an agreement, there may be very big changes you need to take into account.

The list of EU trade agreements is on the EU's website. They include Japan, Mercosur, Australia, Singapore and Canada.

Loss of these agreements can have a very big impact on you if you ship to or from the UK and any of these countries. The UK is negotiating its own trade agreements around the world so it’s important to watch the progress of these.

At DSV we are continuing to monitor the political developments closely. We were well prepared for the "hard Brexit" which didn't happen several times in 2019, and have upgraded our systems to manage the additional customs declarations which will be needed. But customs documentation is the responsibility of the consignor, not DSV as the carrier, so please remember that you will very likely be affected by Brexit on 1 January 2021 if you have any form of trade with the UK and you must make relevant preparations.

Please make sure you subscribe to relevant government and EU newsfeeds as well as newsletters from your local DSV office in order to stay up to date and avoid any unnecessary delays or costs at the end of the transition period and beyond.


Any questions?

Our experts are ready to help. Get in touch and we'll find the solution you need.

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