UK Transition Q&A


Q. Will bonded warehouse keepers continue to be able to be use the EMCS system? If not, what is replacing it and when will it be in operation?

For GB/EU movements of excise goods, the deal model requires changes to EMS to disconnect UK EMCS from the EU EMCS. UK EMCS will be limited to duty suspended movements within the UK only. Excise goods transported between GB and EU will be treated as Rest of World movements. We will continue to use Drawback for excise goods not consumed in the UK, though please note that the rules regarding evidence may change – more information will be published to

Q. After the transition will a company be able to buy a product in a European country and deliver that product to a different EU27 country?

To make a declaration in an EU country an EU EORI is required. An EU EORI can be obtained from the customs authority in the EU country where a person submits their first declaration or first applies for a decision.

Q. Is the CHIEF Software expensive and where do we purchase this from?

There are many customs declaration software providers who can be found on-line either through various trade associations or directly. HMRC currently provides a list of those companies offering solutions for 3rd country simplifications using Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) and this can be found at

Q. Can we let the shipper do all the paperwork for us?

Customs processes can be complex, and most businesses use customs agents or freight forwarders to manage their export (and import) processes and if you have an agent, they will be able to explain exactly what is required.

Commodity Codes

Q. A commodity code sent with goods coming from the EU will this be the same commodity code to use for UK?

Watch our YouTube video what are commodity codes for more information

Q. Are commodity codes & categorisations the same worldwide or do they differ by country?

Finding commodity codes (imports and exports)


Q. Do you still need to do this if you already have TSP registration number?

The Transitional Simplified Procedures (or TSP) (stages one and two), announced for 31 January 2020, have now been withdrawn.

Q. If we are using a Customs Agent, I presume we do not have to apply to use TSP?

The Transitional Simplified Procedures (or TSP) (stages one and two), announced for 31 January 2020, have now been withdrawn.  You will not be able to use TSP to import your goods from the EU.


Q. If you are VAT registered, do you still need a Duty Deferment Account?

You will not need a Duty Deferment Account (DDA) if you only have import VAT to pay and intend to use postponed VAT accounting.  You will need one if you have duties and taxes to pay or are not VAT-registered or intend to use the simplified declarations processes.  You can work out whether you have customs duties to pay by checking the no deal tariff schedule

Q. Do you not have to pay VAT until you submit your quarterly return?

UK Government announced that from 1st January 2021, postponed VAT accounting (PVA) will be available to VAT registered businesses for imports of goods from anywhere in the world, including the EU. PVA allows businesses to account for VAT on the goods they import via their periodic VAT return rather than pay the VAT at (or soon after crossing) the UK border. Businesses are not compelled to do so, but the Government is introducing this to provide a cash flow benefit from 1st January. There are certain rules and exceptions to be aware of, more information at:


Q. I received an EORI number but have misplaced the letter. How do I find out what my number is?

If you believe you may already have an EORI, which is generally made up of your VAT number plus ‘000’ up until the UK leaves the EU you should use the Europa website EORI checker  If you already have an EORI the checker will confirm this. If you don’t have an EORI you should apply using the newly launched online EORI Registration process  If you were VAT registered before 1 January 2020 and dealt with the EU you may have been auto enrolled for an EORI.

Q. Do we need this EORI no for services provided to EU?

You do not need an EORI for consultancy or services unless services involve moving tangible goods in and out for repair. An EORI is needed to move goods.

Q: When is the deadline for an EORI number?

If you do not already have a UK EORI number you’ll need one from 11pm UK time on 31st December 2020 to: trade goods into or out of the UK submit declarations using software (or to give to your agent to make these declarations on your behalf) apply to be authorised for customs simplifications and procedures.

Q: Is it best to apply for an EORI number even if we don’t import/export in the EU?

You will need a UK EORI number to engage with UK customs processes and an EU EORI number to engage with EU customs processes.

Q. Does every business, inc sole trader need an EORI number? Are all values of imports subject to this, I often import small value £10 or less?

You need a EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries, and from 1st January 2021, you’ll need one to move goods between GB and the EU. We’d recommend you apply for one as soon as possible at – it can take up to a week to process.

Q. We currently import from outside the EU, do we still need to apply for a EORI number?

Yes – you still need a EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries. If you don’t have one, you might have increased costs and delays. We’d recommend visiting for more information and how to apply.

Q. We provide graphic design services (not print). Do I need an EORI number or can we just carry on as we are currently?

You’ll not usually need a EORI number if you only provide services. If you use a post or parcel company, they’ll tell you if you need a EORI number. You can find more information at

Q. We have an EORI number but always use freight forwarders, will they take care of any of this paperwork for us?

You are responsible for ensuring a customs declaration in made when importing or exporting goods. You can complete this yourself or appoint an intermediary such as a freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to do this for you.
If you use a third party, the rules for how customs agents represent traders are changing. From 1 January 2021, customs agents will be able to make simplified declarations for you using their own authorisation; so, you don’t need to be authorised. They can only do this if:
• your business is established in the United Kingdom
• your business imports goods into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and
• the customs agent has the appropriate authorisation
The type of representation you agree with your agent will affect your roles and responsibilities. You can find more information at

Q. Will I need an EORI for moving goods from NI through ROI to UK?

If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland. From 1 January 2021 you’ll need an EORI number that starts with XI to:
• move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries
• make a declaration in Northern Ireland
• get a customs decision in Northern Ireland
To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB. If you do not have one, apply for an EORI number that starts with GB as soon as possible.
If you already have an EORI number that starts with GB and HMRC thinks you need one that starts with XI, they’ll automatically send you one in mid-December 2020.

Q. We are a transport company, moving goods for our customers. Are we able to declare customs on behalf of our customers?

Making an import supplementary declaration

Q. We have a deferment duty account, but I want to increase the guarantee with HMRC due in EU imports, how do I do this?

To make changes to your duty deferment account, you can email the relevant team directly at:

Q. Is a fast parcel operator the same as a courier. For example, if we use UPS.

Yes – UPS is a fast parcel operator. You can find a further list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help submit customs declarations at:


We are continuing to follow up with policy leads and hope to issue further guidance soon.

Q. Possible impounding of vehicles which do not hold an access permit and repeatedly offend? Can BEIS please clarify. Is there a demarcation between the vehicles and not goods being impounded?

Q. Can we claim import duty back if goods are re-exported back to the EU using inward processing relief? I was under the impression we could both defer and claim this duty back as long as the goods come from the EU (or Turkey).

Q. The inwards processing relief is contingent on processing of the goods in the UK and I cannot find guidance on the processes required. Are they the same as rules of origin processes for example, or other undetermined processes which are verified by HMRC?

Q. Did we have the “Margin Scheme” prior to joining the EU, if so, would it be resurrected?