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2nd January 2019

The United Kingdom (UK) is leaving the European Union on the 29th March 2019 at 2300hrs UK time. We hope that between now and then the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ can be finalised and that the UK and remaining 27 European Union (EU27) countries can enter a 21-month transition period to the end of 2020.

BREXIT NEWSBut the UK Parliament have not, so far, managed to approve the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’. We are now faced with the real possibility that there may not be a deal and that as from 2301hrs on 29th March 2019 all goods being sent to or from the UK for the EU27 will have to be declared to customs.

In addition, some products – plant and animal products particularly – also need to be declared to the authorities so that sanitary or phytosanitary certificates, to confirm the product is safe to be consumed or, in the case of plants that they are disease free.

P&O Ferrymasters are currently working on solutions to assist you in making customs declarations.

In the mean time

All companies importing, or exporting will have to apply for an EORI number. This can be done by following this link EORI-UK or EORI EU. We strongly recommend that you do this now.

It is also important that you classify your goods correctly so that any customs declarations are correctly completed. Every product can be classified under a Tariff (HS) code, the code is important as it will or can determine the amount of duty you pay; paying too much or too little will cause difficulties with the authorities and could lead to fines or problems recovering over payments. Websites that can assist with classification are Classification 1 or Classification 2

You may have to set up a payment account with customs in your country to pay any duties or taxes. Please check with your local customs to check what arrangements they have in place for paying duty and tax.

You will also need to provide detailed information to your transport company and the company that will declare your goods to customs. This may be more information than you currently provide. Please start to review your processes so that this information can be quickly collected at the time vehicles are loaded.

You will need to supply:-

- Exporters names, address and EORI number.
- Importers names, address and EORI number*.
- Details of any agents responsible for making declarations for the exporter or importer with contact details.
- Country of origin of the goods.
- Country of destination of the goods.
- Package count** and package type.
- Goods description.
- Tariff (HS) code.
- Gross and nett weights**.
- Value** and terms of sale.

If goods are declared to customs before or when they leave your premises, then the MRN (Master Reference Number) from the declaration must be provided also.

*Please provide contact details for the person responsible at the Importers address so that any authorities or account details required for the customs import declaration can be quickly obtained.

**These figures cannot be estimates. And if there is more than one tariff code being moved in the same vehicle then these details need to be advised for each code.

Brexit preparation

Various Governments, authorities and trade organisations have issued guidance notes to assist you to prepare for Brexit, some of these are shown below.

European Union
Irish Brexit page
Dutch Brexit page
French Brexit page
German Brexit page
Romanian Customs page
Hungarian Brexit page
Italian Brexit page
Spanish Brexit page
Polish Government

P&O Ferrymasters has a dedicated contact point for Brexit; the team can be contacted at

Mark Steward
P&O Ferrymasters Ltd


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