The UK has officially left the EU so CTS would like to update with regards to what happens next…
As of the 1st January 2021, shipments travelling to and from the UK and EU are subject to customs entries despite the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) being in place. We will need to declare additional information for all goods shipped and every item must be declared accurately. Compliance is key to a successful delivery!
The below outlines the basics required for exporting to Europe:
Economic Operator and Registration and Identification number (EORI)
In order to trade with an EU business who, purchase goods from the UK an EORI number must be obtained. CTS has had an EORI number for many years, but we now need to ensure that our EU customers have also registered for one with their local authority. Without one, you will be unable to import the shipment.
Customers Tariff and Commodity Codes
It’s important that all companies identify tariffs and commodity codes on the products that they sell. The good news is, due to CTS importing for many years from areas outside of the EU we already had this information available. HS codes are a list of numbers that is used to classify a product to enable accurate taxes and duties to be applied. Once a product is classified, it allows customs authorities all over the world to identify the contents of our shipments. FACT – HS codes are used by over 200 countries in the world and cover 98% of goods traded.
Origin of Goods
It is important that we confirm the origin of our goods, including all components that make up our products in the consignment we are shipping for you. Why? Well, the trade agreement makes reference to “Zero Tariffs” meaning no customs duties, but this is for a product made and manufactured in the UK or EU. For product(s) imported from other areas of the world such as the far east, then customs duties may apply depending on the duty rate that it is imported at. This is why the origin of goods is an important part of the commercial invoice and customs declarations.
In order for our couriers to coordinate and comply with customs regulations at the origin, through to destination we must now provide a fully populated Commercial Invoice(s) with the goods we ship. Without this document, the goods will not transit resulting in delays and most likely the goods being returned to sender.
The export commercial invoice needs to include:
a) Full name, address and contact details of the seller and consignee.
b) Include both buyer and seller EORI numbers.
c) Commercial Invoice number, date of issue and signature.
d) Price, method of payment, Currency and any discounts or additional charges.
e) Quantity and net weight of goods.
f) Tariff Codes (also known as HS Codes) and a clear description of the products.
g) Incoterms, taken from the current 2020 Rules, including delivery and payment. Note that all CTS shipments will be sent DAP meaning that the recipient will be responsible to pay any of the duty/handling charges if applicable for the particular consignment.
h) Country of origin of the goods
i) Actual value of the goods – this will mean that if we are sending an order on our customers' behalf to the user that we will need your sell prices. If possible, please send your invoice through with any purchase order that is to ship to a customer in the EU and Northern Ireland.
Destination Contact and Customs Clearance
Whilst the goods are in transit to the destination, our couriers in the country of destination will liaise with the consignee and make arrangements for customs clearance. Relevant VAT/Duty and handling charge related customs documentation charges will be raised against the consignee by either the local destination authorities, forwarder or broker (depending on country regulations) and in most circumstances, once VAT/Duty and associated charges are settled, the goods will be released for delivery.
Please note that should CTS send an international delivery on your behalf and the consignee doesn’t pay the handling charges the charges will be passed on to you. In this case, the goods will not pass customs and will be returned to CTS as the sender.
What will the export journey look like?
Customs information including the commercial invoice will be generated once the pick and pack process in the CTS warehouse has taken place.
- Customs information is provided to FedEx via their shipping management software and is done electronically for all EU countries. We are still required to provide commercial invoices for Northern Ireland despite them being outside of the EU due to the direct connection with Southern Ireland which is still part of the European Union. Currently, FedEx requires manually created commercial invoices for Northern Ireland but this should become electronic at the end of Q1 2021.
➢ Once your shipment arrives at the courier hub it will be checked by the team to ensure all relevant customs information is available and will then be loaded on to a vehicle for the onward journey
➢ The vehicle will pass through the UK customs Export Border at the port and at this point, the consignee will be contacted so they can pay any duty/VAT or handling charges if applicable on the consignment.
➢ Goods will be then cleared to enter the EU and continue to their final destination. CTS have a process in place to handle all International consignments as quickly and effectively as possible but unfortunately in the early days, it is likely that shipments will be delayed due to the volumes that are being cleared by customs at the ports. We are continually in touch with all of our partners for regular updates on the port situations and will endeavour to pass all information on to our customers.