Customs and compliance from the 1st of January 2021.

With around 16,000 trucks going through the Strait of Dover per day without any border controls, you can imagine the impact these new regulations are going to have on your supply chain.

As of the 1st of Jan 2021, the UK left the EU VAT regime, Customs Union and Single Market. An agreement was reached meaning that there are no tariffs on goods but there will be VAT on goods being imported from Europe into the UK and vice versa.

You need to make sure you are familiar with the new customs and compliance procedures otherwise your goods will not cross the border.

Customs formalities, checks and controls on goods

Customs rules required under EU law will apply to all goods entering the customs territory of the EU from the United Kingdom or leaving that customs territory to the United Kingdom. Even with a free trade area established between the EU and the UK all products traded between the EU and the United Kingdom are subject to any applicable regulatory compliance checks and controls on imports for safety, health and other public policy purposes.

Border Operating Model

The Border Operating Model sets out the changes and new obligations that businesses must comply with in order to move goods across UK borders (either importing or exporting).

View the latest Border Operating Model here.

There are specific procedures to follow if you are importing live animals, plant products or animal products. If you would like more information about this, contact us.

Learn more about the TRACES Process Flow

What happens next? Key dates for your diary

Brexit Transition Timetable-01

WTA UK have acquired our T1 certification and are able to assist with those exports to the European Union that don't meet the rules of origin requirements. So what exactly is a T1 document?

A T1 form is a transit document for non-community goods or goods that have been manufactured outside the EU. The T1 is also a customs financial guarantee.

The T1 transit document has shipment details such as, the name of the sender, the recipient, the number of packages and the weights of the goods. Providing all the necessary details on required for the T1 document means that goods are cleared properly at customs without any delays.

How does the T1 document benefit you when exporting goods to Europe?

The advantage of the T1 document is that it allows your goods to transit through the EU freely without being stopped or held up at various checkpoints, until the goods reach their final destination.

The T1 document is uploaded into the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) and using the Movement Reference Number (MRN) it is possible to track the good across the various borders.

Our dedicated compliance team are on hand to answer any specific queries you may have surrounding T1's and the best solution for your business.

Discover Customs Gateway and simplify customs clearances

Here are more useful links to help you with Brexit Customs and Compliance

Rules of Origin

As of 1st of January 2021, companies have had to demonstrate the originating status of their goods to be entitled to preferential treatment under the EU-UK agreement. Goods not meeting origin requirements will be liable to customs duties.

VAT & duty

Excise duties are due upon the importation of goods brought into the VAT territory of the European Union from the United Kingdom for excisable goods (alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, etc.). The government has introduced Postponed VAT Accounting known as PVA.

Jargon buster

Want to know more about the jargon used when talking about customs and compliance. Brush up on all the terms via this link from Customs Clearance Consortium.


As it is now crucial to have the right documents in place, you should get familiar with international commercial terms – also known as Incoterms – to ensure suitable importers–exporters terms are in place.

How to import to the UK from the EU

Goods from the EU – UK will not require full customs checks from 1st January to 30th June 2021 unless your goods are controlled substances.

How to export from the UK to the EU

Submission of your export paperwork needs to be done at least 24hrs in advance and you need to be in receipt of the “Permission to proceed” (P2P). All export information needs to be submitted electronically.


Make sure you communicate the new requirements to your partners and explain to them the additional paperwork and potential delays. In this way, you can ensure they see you as a reliable partner.

Paperwork you are required to submit for both imports and exports:

  • Consignor / consignee information (name and address)
  • EORI numbers of both consignor and consignee
  • Origin of goods 
  • The country where the goods are destined
  • Commodity codes
  • Customs procedure codes
  • Value of the goods
  • Weight and number of packages of the goods
  • Commercial invoice number and invoice date
  • Incoterms

Melanie and her colleagues from WTA were extremely helpful in sorting the required documents to ensure compliance with the latest regulation. We can rely on their help and personal attention.

Aigul Crabtree
Financial Controller 

Zip World Logo
WTA Zip world video thumbnail
Learn more about customs

Speak to Andrew

Working in international freight and logistics for over 30 years, Andrew Jessup is an expert in his field. He started his career off with 8 years at HMRC, this role gave Andrew the foundations to become the customs compliance expert that he is.

After moving to P&O ferry masters for a couple of years, Andrew settled himself into what turned out to be an incredibly longstanding career at WTA.

Having been part of the WTA team for over 20 years now, Andrew is an integral piece of our logistics puzzle. Prior to moving into his current role, Andrew successfully managed our import department and has co-ordinated various types of import of shipments from around the world. Andrew specialises in customer service, logistical operations and most importantly customs compliance. It is his expertise in customs compliance that made him the perfect candidate to become our compliance manager.

He is customer oriented and is always looking for ways to share his knowledge. Andrew is currently focused on leading and managing the implementation of Brexit. Andrew is committed to helping your business and delivering an outstanding experience.

Contact Andrew Jessup
Andrew Jessup