As a result of new customs formalities arising from Free Trade Agreement, importers and exporters in the UK and EU will be required to consider the rules of origin that were not applicable prior to the end of the transition period. Crucially, in the event goods qualify for preference, sufficient evidence will need to be provided/held.


UK importers will be required to ask EU suppliers whether goods they supply meet the rules of origin as outlined in the Free Trade Agreement – if this is not the case UK customs duties will apply at import. It is therefore essential that businesses importing goods understand these regulations in order to confirm that any exporting suppliers understanding is also correct, and they are able to provide the correct evidence to avoid the application of customs duties as records should be kept by both the exporter and importer of these goods. Importers will be able to claim preferential tariff treatment within three years of the date on which the goods are imported.


UK exporters will need to confirm that their goods qualify as originating in the UK and, if this is the case, businesses are able to self-certify that the origin rules have been met in the form of a single statement of origin included on their sales invoice, alongside a valid EORI number, which can apply to multiple identical shipments.


In response to the free-trade agreement, both importers and exporters will be required to develop and implement processes relating to origin determination and record-keeping marking a significant change in how UK/EU sales are documented.


If you are an importer or exporter involved in transactions with businesses located in the EU, these processes need to be considered at the earliest opportunity – if you are unsure how to put these in place, please call our free VAT helpline for expert advice.

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