EU business: importing from the UK
Find out what EU businesses need to do to import from the UK from 1 January 2021.
New rules for January 2021
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.
Check what else you need to do during the transition period.
This page sets out what EU businesses who are importing from the UK from 1 January 2021 need to consider.
For more information on what EU businesses need to do to prepare for 1 January 2021, visit gov.uk/eubusiness.
Buying or selling goods
Rules are changing and there will be border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK. Find out more about how the border with the UK will work.
Make sure you talk to your trading partners in the UK to agree responsibilities and have the correct paperwork for the type of goods you are trading with counterparts in the UK. Ensure you have completed the necessary border requirements.
There will be no substantive change for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and member states of the EU, including Ireland.
Transporting goods from the UK to the EU
Hauliers and haulier managers will need to follow new rules from 1 January 2021. You will need to:
- use the ‘check an HGV’ service
- follow new traffic management processes at ports to avoid delays
- carry the correct documents for your load and complete new online procedures to cross the border
Full guidance is available in the haulier handbook.
Check import procedures with your country’s customs authority
From 1 January 2021, businesses in Europe will need to make customs declarations when moving goods between the UK and the EU. If European businesses have not completed the right customs processes their goods will not be able to cross the EU border.
You must check with your country’s customs authority what customs procedures will need to be applied for bringing goods from the UK to the EU, including whether any import duties will be due.
Importing animals and animal products
From 1 January 2021, imports of animal and animal products from Great Britain to the EU must comply with new Sanitary and Phytosanitary requirements. This includes being checked at an EU Border Control Post on entry.
The EU importer must notify the Border Control Post that the consignment is arriving.
Find out more about importing animal products from Great Britain to the EU.
Importing plants and plant products
From 1 January 2021, imports of plants, fruit and vegetables from Great Britain to the EU must comply with new Phytosanitary requirements. Regulated plant and plant products imports may be subject to checks at the EU border. If you import plants, fruit and vegetables from Great Britain, you should:
- check whether a phytosanitary certificate (PC) is required by contacting the plant health authority in Great Britain or a plant health inspector in your country
- apply for a PC via your exporter from the relevant plant health authority in Great Britain before export
- check if your plants require laboratory testing of samples (to ensure they are free from pests and diseases) or inspections during the growing season and allow for sufficient time for this to occur
Find out more about importing plants and plant products.
Importing fish from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)
From 1 January 2021, you will need to follow your own country’s rules and guidelines.
You must make sure the UK exporter supplies a catch certificate.
You may also need to make sure your UK exporter provides:
- direct landing documents
- a storage document if the product has been stored
- a processing statement if the product has been processed
Find out more about importing fish from Great Britain.
F gas and ODS Regulation
Make sure you comply with export and import requirements under the fluorinated gas (f gas) and ozone depleting substances (ODS) regulations when exporting to and importing from Great Britain from 1 January 2021.
The EU F gas and ODS regulations and systems will continue to apply in Northern Ireland so Northern Ireland based businesses can continue trading with the EU/EEA as they already do.
Find out how to comply with the F-gas Regulations.
Importing controlled goods
EU businesses importing controlled goods into the UK will need a licence from the relevant licensing authority from 1 January 2021.
Check the guidance and take action to have the right licences.
From 1 January 2021, you need to carry out due diligence when importing and exporting timber.
If you trade chemicals you must review your role in the EU and UK REACH systems and comply with new rules to maintain access to the UK market.
EU REACH will continue to apply in Northern Ireland so Northern Ireland based businesses can continue trading with the EU/EEA as they already do.
Last updated 8 December 2020 + show all updates