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The UK left the EU in January 2020 and on the 31 December 2020 the transition period will end, at which time the UK will leave the EU Customs Union and Single Market.

Effective 1 January 2021 the movement of goods will be subject to export and import Customs procedures similar to movements between the EU and Canada.


The EU / UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA) only allows for the duty free movement of UK and EU originating goods.


Important Preliminary guidance available here


(Please note that all references to 'UK to EU' trade also apply to 'EU to UK' trade).

Q: Will my company be affected by Brexit?

If your company is involved with the trading or movement of goods between the UK and EU countries or trading with the UK using EU Free Trade Agreements, your company will be affected by Brexit.

Business transactions between the UK and EU countries were previously seen as intra-community traffic and therefore not subject to customs import processes and duty payments. Brexit changes this, meaning products must be included in customs declarations, with a potential liability to pay duty. 

Companies outside the EU doing business with UK companies might be affected as existing trade agreements will cease if/when the UK leaves the EU Customs Union. Trade after that will be subject to the new trade agreements the UK is negotiating.

We also expect significant impact on returned goods between the UK and EU since it could be that duty will be payable on the original import and the return.

Q: What do we need to do to prepare for Brexit?

Customs controls will be introduced between the EU and the UK when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

Some of the key preparations required are to obtain an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number, classify your products and have a correctly formatted commercial invoice.  For guidance on these and more items required please refer to the links at the top of this page. 

You may also need to review your supply chain, especially if you are currently using a central warehouse based in the EU or UK to distribute across Europe, to avoid paying duty on entry to the EU and then again on entry to the UK.

You will also need to appoint DSV or another to act as your direct representation to complete Customs declarations, your normal DSV contact can provide details of what is required for us to act on your behalf. 

Q: How can DSV help us prepare for Brexit?

We have prepared a series of guides on this site to assist in the preparation and are adding to these continuously as more information is available.  You will find links to external sites as well as to the DSV UK Brexit site which has extensive information available on the UK Brexit processes.  

Should you need further information please reach out to your normal DSV contacts who will be able to assist you.

Q: Who do we contact about Brexit in DSV?

You should first contact your normal point of contact in DSV. They have direct access to relevant Brexit information and can reach out to the local DSV Brexit leaders or customs experts.

If you do not know who your normal contact is, please use our Global Office Finder to contact your nearest office.

Q: Will Brexit increase the cost of our supply chain?

Unfortunately yes, because all shipments will require customs documentation on departure and arrival, for which you may require a customs broker.  Additionally, it is likely that duty will be payable on entry to both the EU and UK, although this is still the subject of negotiations between the EU and UK.

Q: Will Brexit result in delays to our supply chain?

Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, customs controls will be implemented by both the UK and EU, requiring clearance before cargo is allowed to move forward.  Apart from the potential for port congestion, the logistics will change from an operation which is similar to a movement from the EU to the USA or Japan with documentation needed to be in place before goods are collected from origin. This will inevitably impact overall supply chain speed and reliability.

Q: How can I stay updated?

Please make sure you are subscribed to newsletters sent out by your local DSV office, which you can find in our Global Office Finder. We also recommend that you visit our Brexit site here at regular intervals to get the latest insights.

Any questions?

Our customs experts are ready to help. Get in touch and we'll find the right solution for your needs.

Contact us about Brexit