Coronavirus support: Advice and guidance for businesses COVID-19 Support

Imports and Exports

Leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union will change the way you import and export to and from Europe and other countries around the world.

Things to think about

Leaving the customs union will increase paperwork – The new relationship between the EU and the UK will mean immediate changes to customs procedures and documentation required which may mean a great administration burden. Do you have the skills in your team to manage these customs changes and administration tasks?

Regulatory divergence may mean non-tariff barriers to trade – The UK will start with the same regulatory product standards as the EU, but these may diverge over time, resulting in non-tariff barriers to trade. What regulatory standards do you currently meet and how may they change?

There will be changes to tariffs – Both the UK and the EU are aiming for tariff and quota free trade between the two, however this does not rule out UK setting external tariffs for goods coming in from the rest of the world.

The UK will leave the EU VAT area – The rules governing VAT will change. Organisations may need to register for VAT in a European member state.

The rules for Northern Ireland will be different – Northern Ireland will essentially remain in the Single Market and Customs Union for goods as part of the Irish Protocol. Does this impact your business or your supply chain?

Steps to take now

• Utilise available government support and resources such as the government’s digital tools for businesses who export goods in and out of the UK.

• Obtain a UK EORI number – this is vital to continue trading in and out of the EU.

• Explore potential opportunities from trade deals. The UK has ambitious plans to negotiate new trade deals with economies across the world which may open new markets for your business.

• Assess duty paid delivery options – are the current terms of delivery still possible given the possible changes to tariffs and VAT?

• Explore if you need an export license for any of your goods.



  • Government digital tools for traders – [Link]
  • Government customs grants – [Link]

Need advice?

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