How do I Export Products out of the UK to Europe?

How do I Export Products out of the UK to Europe?

Despite first being promised in 2016 and despite Boris Johnson's promise of an 'oven-ready Brexit deal' in 2019, Brexit continues to make daily headlines across the UK and the world. 

While an agreement between the British Government and the European Union in January had the potential to deliver some clarity on exports between the UK and the EU, the mountains of paperwork required to export goods contributed to a sharp drop in the volume of traffic between the UK and EU in January 2021.  

As a result, the transport sector has been dealing with a driver shortage. The RHA estimated at around 60,000 for the UK alone, prior to Brexit, with expectations that number will now continue to increase. Without drivers, there is a growing worry that trailers left in the UK will eat into wider European capacity, causing freight rates to soar on both sides of the Channel.

Exporting Process 

To complete export declarations, you need to ensure you have an agent. While you can complete these yourself, it can be a very challenging and time-consuming process. Below, you can see an overview of export requirements from the UK post-January 2021. 

Brexit trader export requirements


Learn more about Custom and Compliance post-Brexit


To export from the UK to Europe, you will need to complete a wide range of different documents. 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.

The relevant documents cover export and customs and if your goods are being trucked over to Europe, the driver will need to have all the necessary customs documentation to allow them to cross international borders.

The relevant documents may be:

  •         Commercial invoice
  •         Certificates of origin
  •         Licenses and certificates (such as for food and plants)
  •         The Export or Transit Accompanying Document (TAD) issued by customs

There is so much additional paperwork that is required that there is a huge benefit to using a forwarder who has long standing relationships in place with best in class hauliers and digital systems in place that can automate a lot of these functions and give you the peace of mind that your goods will be cleared once they arrive in Europe

Brexit Changes 

The UK has left the EU Customs Union. As a result, VAT on exported goods now works differently.

The UK no longer has to comply with the EU's minimum VAT rate of 15 per cent. However, since the UK's VAT rate sits at 20 per cent, nothing is likely to change in this regard. 

As Brexit continues to have an impact on exports, WTA UK will continue to provide as much information as possible to make the process more transparent for those looking to export from the UK. For more information about Brexit and its impact on exports, click here to explore WTA’s Brexit knowledge base. 

If you need help understanding the confusing jargon surrounding imports and experts, we have a helpful ‘Jargon Buster’ to help you understand the important terms quickly.

Understanding Confusing Brexit Jargon

Looking at exporting from the UK to USA? Check out our article below:

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